Curbside compost collection will start October 1 throughout Eugene. Residents have long requested curbside composting, and the city recently tested it out among about 1,500 residents. Portland, Bend and other Oregon cities already have curbside composting. Each year Eugene sends about 40 million pounds of food waste into the landfill, according to the city. Officials didn’t have an estimate yet as to how much the curbside compost project might collect.

Items OK for composting are plate scrapings, meat, bones, plant trimmings, solid dairy products, baked goods and kitchen trimmings, as well as egg, oyster and crab shells. Avocado pits also are acceptable. The food and food scraps should be thrown into the yard debris bin loose, not in a plastic or other bag.

Wisth, other city officials and waste haulers and processors stressed that curbside composting only would be for food and food by-products. So, service ware, paper plates and containers, as well as bags, are not acceptable even if they are designed to be compostable. Liquids, such as milk and cooking oils, should also be kept out of the curbside compost.

Focusing on food and food scraps will keep contaminants out of the compost, said Jack Hoeck, Rexius vice president of environmental services. The forest byproducts company will be handling some of the household food waste collected in the new program and took part in a test of the system.

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