Tips for Collecting Food Waste

Thank you for your interest in reclaiming food waste; give yourself a pat on the back for being part of the solution!

To make taking your Moonshot easier and more effective, we’ve lined up a few tips on collecting food waste that we’ve separated by audience: helpful pointers for everybody, and handy advice for businesses, 

Let’s dig in!

For All Customers

1. Post Your Compost List

Each Moonshot bin is inscribed with a list of acceptable and unacceptable items on it. However, many homeowners keep their bins somewhere that makes seeing the side of the bins difficult, like in a pullout cabinet. 

If that’s the case at your house or place of business, consider printing out a copy (or two) of the list to post in the vicinity of the bins on a bulletin board or stuck to the fridge via magnet. That way you can reference them easily if you’re ever in doubt about a particular food item. 

Print your “What to compost” list

2. If in Doubt, Leave it Out

If you’re still not sure if it composts after checking the list, it’s best to skip it and avoid contaminating the batch. Contaminated batches have to be diverted to landfills, or worse, end up in compost where they may spread harmful chemicals into soil and groundwater.

Feel free to ask us for clarification on what can be composted whenever you need!

3. Remove Those Labels!

Produce stickers on apples and oranges

Not only do produce stickers not compost, the ones you bring home today on your fruits and vegetables will probably outlive you. Add to this the fact that they’re small, sticky, and universally used across grocery stores around the world, and you’ve got a composter’s worst nightmare. 

It may help you to remember to trash produce stickers if you get into a routine of removing all of them as soon as you get home from the store.

The only ways to avoid them are to shop at farmer’s markets or grow your own produce. Even if you do the former, remember to still be on the lookout for rubber bands and twist ties so that they don’t find their way into your Moonshot bin either.

4. Keep Distance Between Bins

Whenever possible, it’s best to keep your compost bin somewhere separate from your trash and recycling bins. This will help you be more intentional about both composting and recycling, as well as help you avoid contaminating your compost collection with non-compostable materials. 

For Commercial Customers

5. Handle the Food Waste Separation Yourself

Carrying food leftovers in restaurant

Restaurants have been identified as a major source of contaminated compost, and a big reason for that is the way food waste collection is done. 

Public-facing bins that ask customers to separate food waste from other waste on their own, without supervision, lead to problems, as customers either don’t understand how or don’t bother to try to separate correctly. 

Instead, consider moving the bins to an employees-only section and asking customers to either leave their trash on the table or bring it to the counter to be sorted by restaurant staff. 

If you choose to keep the bins accessible to the public, make sure you have clear signage posted to explain what goes where.

6. Train–and Inspire–Your People

Of course, if you’re going to restrict the food waste separation duties to company personnel, you need to be able to count on those folks to do it right. This means more than just teaching them the mechanics of what is compostable and how to use tools like tongs to pull contamination out of food scraps. 

It’s also important to explain the why of composting and get them to buy into the mission, because staying vigilant for compost contaminators such as produce stickers requires a level of dedication that won’t be there if your employees think it’s all a waste of time. 

Composting is easy and clean