What Can I Compost With WasteWell FAQ

Although we have a list of items we can and cannot accept as well as a related list you can print for your home, we get lots of additional questions about what items belong in the Swell Well. We think this great! After all, we’d much rather have you ask about items in advance than find out later that they shouldn’t be in our compost piles.

We’ve added some Frequently Asked Questions below that we hope you find helpful. And as always, if you have additional questions, just pop us an email and we’ll get back to you.

Why can’t I compost meat, dairy, or oil?

A little bit of any of these things aren’t going to make or break the balance in your Swell Well or our compost piles. But too much of any of these will make your Swell Well pretty stinky. We’re pretty sure you think that’s gross (we do too).

But you know who likes that stench? Raccoons, rodents, and other wild rascals. That stinky meat, dairy, and oil aroma will encourage them to follow their curiosity right into your bucket and our compost piles. So for the sake of your Swell Well and our compost piles, please send your meat, dairy, and oil products to your trash bin.

Can I compost food that was cooked in oil?

As we mentioned above, a little bit of oil isn’t going to cause an issue in your Swell Well or our compost processing. If you have some leftover veggies that you cooked in oil, go ahead and toss the veggies into your Swell Well. If you have a container of leftover cooking oil or grease, that should head to the trash.

Can I compost paper towels with food remnants on them? What about paper towels with oil or butter on them?

Yep! We’ll take them.

Can I compost paper towels with vinegar or DIY cleaning ingredients on them? 

We are happy to take paper towels with vinegar on them. As for other DIY cleaning ingredients, it depends on what it is. Shoot us an email and we’ll chat about it.

Can I compost animal waste?

Sorry. We can’t take animal waste.

How big should paper or cardboard be in order to add to my Swell Well?

We are happy to accept clean cardboard or paper and ask that you shred it or tear it up into pieces that are at least as small as regular playing cards.

What does “clean paper” or “clean cardboard” mean?

We can only accept paper and cardboard if everything on that paper or cardboard is also compostable. For example, all stickers and tape must be removed from cardboard boxes.

Also, cardboard should be free of any coating. If it has a glossy texture on the outside of the box, we can’t accept it.

We can accept torn up and shredded paper that has pen, pencil, marker, and crayon markings on it.

Can I add the contents from my vacuum waste into my Swell Well?

Hair and dust are compostable, so those can go in your Swell Well. If your vacuum waste includes other things, like small pieces of plastic, it should head to your trash. Unfortunately, we can’t accept that.

Can I compost wine corks?

So long as the wine corks are real cork and not plastic, you can toss them right into your compost bin. Cork is a natural material and will break down in the bin. Beware, however, of plastic stoppers made to look like cork. Unfortunately, these have to go head to the trash as they are not compostable.

Can I compost bamboo bristles?

Bamboo is a natural material as well. It’s compostable, and we accept it in the WasteWell collection buckets. Pull the bristles out of the toothbrush or hairbrush and add them to your compost bin for pick up.

Do you accept compostable utensils?

Unfortunately, we do not. Compostable utensils are typically only compostable in industrial composting facilities. We outsource our organic waste processing to a farm, and the utensils do not break down quickly enough in that process. Instead of turning into a luscious soil amendment, those compostable utensils up end blowing around the farm and being quite pesky. Thanks for keeping them out of our buckets.