Food Scrap Recycling

Overview

The City of Dubuque offers multiple options for curbside customers to "recycle" their food scraps, rather than dispose of them in the trash.  Below is information on subscribing to curbside food scrap recycling.  

Monthly cost for residential and K-12 school customers during regular and winter collection:

  • Tipper Cart Subscription: 13 gallon - $1
  • Tipper Cart Subscription: 48 gallon - $8 
  • Tipper Cart Subscription: 65 gallon - $11

Monthly cost for commercial customers during regular and winter collection:

  • Tipper Cart Subscription: 13 gallon - $4
  • Tipper Cart Subscription: 48 gallon - $15
  • Tipper Cart Subscription: 65 gallon - $20
To subscribe to one of the collection services listed above, or for additional information, contact the Public Works Department at 563.589.4250 or publicworks@cityofdubuque.org

Acceptable Compostable Materials

  • Baked goods/grains
  • Cakes
  • Candy
  • Coffee filters and tea bags
  • Cookies
  • Food soiled paper cups and paper plates
  • Napkins
  • Paper bags
  • Paper placemats
  • Paper towels

Unacceptable Materials

  • Animal waste/litter
  • Cigarette butts
  • Clothing
  • Compostable or plastic utensils
  • Containers
  • Dead animals
  • Diapers
  • Grease and fats
  • Hygiene products
  • Lids
  • Medical and hazardous waste
  • Plastic bags
  • Shoes
  • Straws
  • Treated/painted wood
  • Vacuum cleaner bags
  • Wrapping
Food Scrap

Still unclear what can be composted?  REThink Waste Dubuque is a free tool that features collection day reminders, collection calendars, and a waste wizard.  Just type in the material you’re disposing and the app will tell you whether it can be recycled or composted or if it needs to be placed in your regular garbage.

Combining Food Scraps with Yard Waste

In addition to the tipper cart subscriptions listed above, customers may also put their food scraps and compostable paper in their yard waste carts, cans, and bags. Current yard waste container options are subscribed 64-gallon carts, 35-gallon cans with annual yard waste decals, 35-gallon cans with attached yellow stickers, or paper yard waste bags with attached yellow stickers. This allows many customers to divert their food scraps at little or no additional cost by simply adding them to their current under-filled, underweight yard waste containers.

Additional Suggestions

Don’t buy more food than you’ll use and donate extra, usable food to others in need.

Using your garbage disposal is also beneficial management of food scraps. However, avoid putting meat, fat, and grease down your garbage disposal.