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Compostable Trash Bags For Food Waste, Leaves, And More

Compostable Trash Bags For Food Waste, Leaves, And More

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Paul Brown

During the fall we have an enormous amount of leaves that blanket the yard. They are an excellent carbon source for compost but it’s somewhat of a hassle bagging them up and then unbagging them in a pile. This got me to thinking about compostable trash bags and the idea of simply stacking the bags to let them decompose naturally.

Compostable trash bags are often made from plant starches and will decompose over time, allowing for a 100% compostable kitchen waste and yard debris solution. Look for a product that is certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute to ensure that you are truly purchasing compostable trash bags.

Why Use Compostable Trash Bags

Beyond the obvious benefits of reducing landfill waste, compostable trash bags can also be an excellent solution for collecting organic yard debris for composting. Grass clippings, leaves, and other organic material that people often bag up and sit next to the road to be hauled away can be turned into nutrient-rich compost right in your own backyard!

By collecting the organic debris in compostable trash bags, you have the option of literally stacking the bags and allowing them to decompose naturally over time. Granted, this will slow the decomposition process of the organic material inside, but if you are looking for a clean and trouble-free solution, this could be just the thing.

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It’s Like Plastic Bag Composting, Only Better!

Plastic Bag Composting has become trendy in recent years and it does offer some enticing benefits. For some, it’s a cleaner looking way to compost. You don’t have to deal with a large pile of yard debris in your back yard. Just gather your grass clippings, leaves, and any other organic material into a trash bag and put it somewhere out of the way.

This is a form a passive composting where you don’t necessarily turn or aggregate the material, you just let it decompose on its own. I’m a big fan of passive composting and routinely bury kitchen scraps in my yard using what’s known as “dig and drop composting“.

While the absolute best way to compost is with an active composting method that involves air, bagging yard debris and leaving it to decompose naturally will work but it takes much longer. Still, I can’t deny the benefit of gathering up yard debris and just stacking the bags somewhere to let nature do its thing.

But the key benefit that compostable trash bags offer is that the bags will slowly decompose and the material will become part of the compost. That is about as close as we can get to a zero-waste solution. Best of all, as the bags slowly fall apart, air will be allowed in which can help to accelerate the decomposition process. Win-win!

Recommended Reading: Active Composting vs. Passive Composting.

A Great Fall & Winter Compost Collection Strategy

I collect a large number of leaves in the fall but piling them up in a corner of the yard can be a recipe for disaster when strong winds come. All of that hard work can literally be blown away. By collecting the leaves in compostable trash bags, the bags can be closed and stacked in a location that you intend to compost the next season.

The bags can sit undisturbed over the winter, very slowly decomposing while the wetness of the winter months weighs down the leaves inside.

When spring arrives, the decomposition process will speed up. The leaves, now matted with moisture, are no longer at risk of being blown away as the bags slowly fall apart and become part of the compost pile. You can begin adding grass clippings, kitchen scraps, and any other organic material to get that nitrogen-carbon magic happening.


If you are looking for a solution to collecting kitchen scraps and yard debris for composting, this may be exactly what you are seeking. It’s a creative approach to keeping your organic material together while the decomposition process begins but slowly becomes a part of the compost itself. Compostable trash bags can be an excellent zero-waste solution!

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You can read all of our posts on composting at this link.