Seattle Public Schools

Composting and Recycling

Waste Sorting Help Sheet

Waste Sorting Help Sheet – Seattle Public Schools


  • All food scraps, including: fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, shells & bones, pasta & rice, eggshells, nutshells, bread & grains, meat, fish & dairy.
  • Food-soiled paper, including: uncoated (not shiny) paper bags, paper towels & napkins, greasy pizza boxes, uncoated (not shiny) food-soiled uncoated paper plates and trays, & shredded paper.
  • Paper lined with compostable material (ex: brown paper boats that say “compostable” on the bottom) and waxed paper
  • Plant and yard waste, including: flowers and houseplants, leaves, branches and grass clippings.


  • Paper – Homework, drawings (once both sides are used is best,) colored art paper
  • Cardboard
  • BIG Lids and caps larger than three inches in diameter
  • Empty juice boxes, milk cartons, plastic bottles, coffee cups and lids (larger than 3”)
  • Empty plastic cereal bowls and juice cups with lid removed
  • “Spoon clean” plastic yogurt and applesauce cups with lid removed


  • SMALL plastic caps and lids less than three inches in diameter
  • Plastic straws, forks, spoons, knives
  • Pencils, pens, glue sticks, erasers, and crayons (or you can re-melt broken crayons into new ones to use again)
  • Foil juice containers (ex: Capri Sun)
  • Plastic film (ex: Saran Wrap, film lid on single-use cereal bowls)
  • Chip bags, ziplock bags, candy wrappers, carrot/apple/roll bags
  • Liquid – please pour out all liquid into a sink or basin at the sort line