Composting in Kitsap

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Composting is nature’s way of recycling. It is one of the most powerful actions we can take to reduce our trash, address climate change, and build healthy soil. By turning our food scraps and yard trim into compost, we can transform our waste streams into a beneficial, value-added soil amendment and use it to protect the environment and create resilient communities.

Keep food scraps and yard waste out of the landfill.  Choose the best composting option for you.

Curbside CompostingWoman scraping food waste into a pail on her counter.

Most homes in Kitsap County can subscribe to curbside collection of food scraps and yard waste. See if you are eligible for this service.

Learn the ins and outs of curbside composting and check with your service provider for more guidance on curbside services. 

Drop Off Yard WasteMan loading yard waste for hauling.

Take clean yard waste to special drop-off sites in Kitsap County. Find a site near you.

Check with each site to verify what is accepted. Do not compost noxious weeds. Bag and toss them in the garbage.

Backyard CompostingPerson building compost in her backyard.

Backyard composting is best for yard and garden wastes like grass, leaves, and garden cuttings. You can also put some food scraps into a backyard compost pile. There are different methods of backyard composting.

Need composting advice? The Kitsap Master Gardener Program answers questions about composting and gardening, offers clinics and workshops, and maintains learning gardens and compost demonstration sites.

Additional composting resources are available through WSU's Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Bowl of compostable food scraps.Worm Composting

Worm composting is best for kitchen scraps like fruit and vegetable peelings. Red wiggler worms create vermicompost, a valuable fertilizer and soil builder. You can make a worm bin from inexpensive materials or purchase a pre-made worm bin kit. Worm composting can be done indoors.

Kitsap County Solid Waste Division offers Adopt a Worm Classroom Composting Lessons for public, private, and home schools.

 How to worm compost

There are many ways to worm compost. We recommend that beginners start by making a worm bin from a small plastic tote.

Supplies Needed:

  • Red Wiggler (Eisenia fetida) worms. Buy composting worms online (search "red wiggler worms Washington"), locally at Bay Hay & Feed (call ahead for availability) or 3-in-1 Worm Ranch, or ask a local social media group if anyone has worms to share.

  • A plastic bin measuring approximately 2ft x 1.5ft x 9in. Drill holes in the bottom and sides for airflow.

  • A tray to put under the worm bin to catch vermicompost and drainage. Drainage should not occur and is a sign your bin is too wet.

  • Bedding. Shredded paper, brown leaves, or straw.  Do not use shiny paper, envelopes with plastic windows, or paper containing plastic.

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps. Use the Worm Feeding Guide.

Set Up:

Get started with the Worm Bin Quick Start and Care Guide.

Tips for Success:

  • Red wiggler worms eat approximately half their body weight daily.

  • Freeze your food scraps to prevent fruit flies and speed up composting.

  • Keep food scraps covered with bedding to prevent fruit flies and odor. 

  • Add fresh bedding and mix the bin contents regularly to allow air flow and to absorb excess moisture. Most problems that happen in worm bins come from too much moisture.

  • When your worm bin gets full of vermicompost, search online for harvesting methods.