Your Kitchen Pail
All Lake Oswego households had a countertop pail delivered to them as part of the residential composting program rollout in 2016. If you are new to the area and do not have a pail, please contact Republic Services at 503-636-3011 or via the webform at this link https://www.ci.oswego.or.us/formslf/WasteFeedback to request one. Please note that Republic Services has a limited supply left over from the program rollout so availability is not guaranteed, however similar kitchen compost pails are available for purchase at most hardware and home good stores.
Instead of scraping plates and cutting boards into your garbage can or garbage disposal, scrape your scraps into your pail. When it gets full, simply empty the pail into your yard debris bin.
You can keep your pail on your counter, or hook it to a cabinet door out of sight.
To minimize any potential odors, keep your pail in your refrigerator or freezer. They are small enough to fit nicely in there.
Line your pail with a brown paper bag or newspaper to keep it clean. The bag or newspaper can be dumped into the yard debris bin along with your food waste.
Please do not buy green "compostable" bag liners for your pail. Many of these bags do not break down at compost facilities and create this light green confetti, rendering the compost product unusable to farmers and landscapers who purchase the finished product.
Why is this better than putting food down the garbage disposal?
When you put food, especially food high in fat content, down your garbage disposal, you are taxing the sewage and wastewater system. Most systems, including ours in Lake Oswego, were not designed to process fats, grease, and other food products that clog the pipes. Additional treatment is required to keep these products from entering the Willamette River. We do not have any current research on the impact of food waste on the Lake Oswego system, but to get a sense of how it impacts sanitary sewers in general, have a look at this video from Seattle's system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvV4Nu0yb40 Gross!