By Carl Hanson

Composting your food waste is always a good idea. And in some places, like here in Seattle, it's not just a good idea, it's the law. Basically, you'll do the crime if you don't compost the thyme.

Here's one way to go: Keep food scraps and such in a bin under your sink. You can buy little containers, like this:

The downside with these containers: After a day or two, the food waste stinks, stuff gets moldy, and the fruit flies come a-callin'.

There's a better way. Stash your food waste in the freezer. It totally freezes away the yuck. No stank. No flies. No gnarly mold.

Here's the deal.

1. Buy compostable bags and insert one into a plain ol' brown bag.

2. Stick the bag in the freezer.

3. When you cook, instead of pulling out the big bag, use a smaller container for the food scraps. Dump them into the big bag when you're done.

4. The compostable bags' handles dangle over the four corners of the bag.

5. So it's easy to tie 'em up.

6. Then dump the bag into the food-and-yard-waste collection bin, and you're golden.

What Can You Put in There?

Almost anything food-related that doesn't end up in your mouth counts as acceptable food waste, including bones, oyster shells -- even greeezy pizza boxes, formerly fish-wrapped newspapers, and coffee filters. Dead flowers in vases? Yup, they go in there, too.

Here's a complete list:

Fruit and vegetable scraps

Bread, pasta, grain remains

Eggshells, nutshells

Coffee grounds

Coffee filters

Tea bags

Meat, fish, and chicken parts

Dairy products (milk, butter, cheese)



Paper towels

Kitchen napkins

Uncoated paper plates

Food-soiled newspaper

Pizza boxes

Shredded paper

Paper bags (uncoated) with food scraps

Plant material (flowers, etc.)

For more info on composting your food and yard waste, check this out.