How can I prevent contamination?
- Notify and educate staff before placing compost bins out for use.
- Ensure indoor compost bins are clearly marked and easily distinguishable from other receptacles.
- Place indoor trash, recycling, and compost bins directly next to one another.
- Consider eliminating or cutting down on single-use items, such as condiment cups, straws, etc.
- Replace single use items with reusable items, whenever possible.
- Ensure compostable and non-compostable products are easily distinguishable from one another.
Frequently asked questions
Are “compostable” plastic liners accepted?
Is “compostable” plastic cutlery accepted?
How will I know if an item is accepted?
The CMA-W certified products are not branded as such. If the item says that it is compostable and it is plastic, leave it out. If the item is paper or wood-based and says that it is compostable, then put it in.
Are any biodegradable products institute (BPI) certified items acceptable?
Yes, if they are paper/fiber items and on the list of allowed items. These are CMA-W certified items minus plastic, bamboo, and palm leaf products. Bioplastic, bamboo, and palm leaf products do not break down in our system in a timely manner.
Are there some plastics that are accepted in the compost?
No. They pose a real litter problem as they are light and blow around, especially when the plastic is shredded in the grinder.
What can I use in place of biodegradable plastic bags?
We strongly encourage liner-less kitchen composter use. If a liner is a must for a kitchen composter, an unlined paper one is recommended. For curbside carts, we recommend using a paper yard bag during the winter months to prevent materials from freezing to the cart.
What if there is a missed pickup?
You can report missed pickups and other issues through A2 Fix It
Is it true that commercial compost material is taken to a facility that still accepts “compostable” plastics?
Yes, it is true that some material is hauled to a compost facility in Wixom, MI that accepts those materials. However, for any services provided in the City of Ann Arbor, they must utilize the same guidelines as the city’s compost facility. Residents frequenting local businesses may bring items home to put in the residential compost cart, and that material does go to the city’s compost facility, so it must be in compliance with the acceptance standards for that site.