Food-Soiled Paper

Learn the Yes and No's of food-soiled paper recycling below:

YES - DO place these in the Organics Bin:

  • Napkins, paper towels, or tissues
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Paper-takeout containers (no containers with wax or plastic coating and no metal containers)
  • Paper tea bags and coffee filters
  • Paper plates
  • Paper cups (no paper cups with waxy or plastic linings)

NO - DO NOT place these in the Organics Bin:

  • Waxed paper
    • Try replacing waxed paper with parchment paper! Parchment paper is fully compostable.
  • Paper towels that have been used with cleaning agents

Helpful Tips:

  • Use your food-soiled paper to "Wrap Your Scraps" in your storage container
  • Wet, dirty, or food-soiled cardboard boxes can be placed in your organic waste bin as long as ALL tape and labels have been removed. If left on, these will contaminate the final compost product.
  • Generally, if your food-soiled paper product can tear like paper, it is OK to place in the organics bin
    • If it doesn't tear like paper or if the product has a plastic liner, please place it in the trash bin.
  • Paper cups that have a plastic liner are not recyclable or compostable as the plastic liner does not break down and contaminates the final compost product. 


Click the buttons below to learn more about the various materials that can and cannot be placed in the Organics Bin:


Have a recycling question? Email or Call the Recycling Hotline: