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Commercial organics diversion

Learn about your business or commercial property’s options for diverting food and yard waste.

King County businesses can save money and reduce waste by diverting food and yard waste from the landfill. Organics collection is often less costly than garbage disposal. Materials can be donated or turned into earth-friendly compost at a local facility.

What are organic materials? What can be composted in my area?

Materials Compostable?
Food scraps, such as produce, dairy, grains, meat, bones, and eggshells


Food-soiled paper and boxes


Plants, flowers, yard waste, and untreated wood


Pet waste or diapers


Fats, oil, or grease


Help create nutrient-rich compost by checking what goes in the organics bin and what stays out. Compost is used on our local landscapes to maintain a healthy environment for plants, animals, and people. See more at Compost Right.

2022 Organics Management Law (OML)

Beginning in 2024, certain businesses throughout Washington will be required to divert organic waste from the garbage. Diversion methods could include donating edible food, establishing curbside collection, self-hauling to a transfer station that accepts the waste, and/or composting on site.

  • January 1, 2024 - Businesses generating at least eight cubic yards of organic waste per week must arrange for organic materials management.
  • January 1, 2025 – Businesses generating at least four cubic yards of organic waste per week must arrange for organic materials management.
  • January 1, 2026 – Businesses generating at least four cubic yards of solid waste (garbage) per week must arrange for organic materials management

How do I know if my business is required to comply with the law?
Conducting a “waste audit” is a great way to start. Evaluate how often your outdoor garbage containers fill up and about how much of it is food and yard waste. Estimates are OK! Determine what size your containers are and how often they are serviced by a hauler. If you are near the law’s threshold for the year, reach out to a waste hauler or explore ways to reduce your organic waste.

Image of a green 96-gallon garbage tote in a driveway
96 gallon cart = 1/2 cubic yard
Solid waste worker standing in front of a 2-yard garbage dumpster
2 cubic yard container
Solid waste worker standing in front of a 4-yard garbage dumpster
4 cubic yard container
Solid waste worker standing in front of a 8-yard garbage dumpster
8 cubic yard container

Only businesses in geographic areas designated by the Department of Ecology are required to comply. These areas will be updated every year in July. As of 2024, the designated area includes a majority of western King County. To verify if your business address is included, visit Ecology’s interactive map.

Donate edible food  

By donating edible food to local food banks or meal programs, you can: 

  • Prevent food waste in King County. 
  • Lower costs with a reduced garbage bill.  
  • Support those in need in your community. 
  • Inspire employee pride and qualify for a tax deduction.

Learn how to donate edible food to a local hunger relief organization.

Repurpose and reduce excess food

Find new ways to reduce food waste, such as:

  • Explore networks that allow others to purchase unsold food, from single-serve meals to bulk product.
  • Offer “day-olds” to customers at a reduced price.
  • Evaluate purchasing and back of house stocking practices.
  • Engage employees and seek their ideas on how to create a more sustainable workplace.

Visit our Food too Good to Waste site for more tips or check out large scale case studies from the Pacific Coast Collaborative.

Establish curbside collection

Some cities may already hold a contract that covers organic waste collection for your business. Check with your city’s recycling coordinator or solid waste lead. For businesses not covered by a city contract, there are a variety of organic waste haulers in King County you may choose to work with, such as:

  • Cedar Grove
  • Commercial Waste Reduction and Recycling (CWRR)
  • Recology
  • Republic Services
  • Waste Management

For temporary container service, many other providers are available. Visit the What do I do with…? site and search for food or yard waste. King County maintains these lists as a courtesy to the public and does not endorse or guarantee the quality of the service provided. This list should not be considered exhaustive. Don’t see your company? Contact

Compost on-site

Learn how to compost food and yard waste using an onsite "in-vessel" system, where organic waste is fully contained and resistant to pests. Learn more at Backyard composting.

Bring yard waste to a King County facility

Businesses can self-haul yard waste to several King County recycling and transfer stations.

For more information on what's accepted and disposal fees, visit the Facilities site