What can you put in a brown bin?

In many places, fruit, vegetables, and garden waste are already collected separately. That’s great because good compost, biogas and green electricity can be made out of this “waste”. A good reason to separate it from plastics and paper waste.

Almost half of the household waste comes from food and garden waste. Did you know that processing this waste into compost is cheaper than incinerating? Also, this is much better for the environment, that’s why it is very important to separate your waste properly. Yet many people throw organic waste at the residual waste because it is unclear what is and what is not organic waste. That’s why we listed below what you can and cannot put in a brown bin.

By using a brown bin, the average family can reduce the waste going into their general waste bin by over 30%.

What can you put in a brown bin?

  • Grass cutting
  • Leaves and twigs
  • shrub prunings
  • Flowers and bouquets
  • Plants and weeds
  • Teabags, tea leaves, coffee grinds, and coffee filters
  • Cooked and raw foods – dairy, fruit, vegetables, pieces of bread, etc
  • Napkins, paper plates, paper food wrapping, and paper bags
  • Christmas trees (real ones of course)

Please note: not all brown bin collectors accept food waste. So be sure to check with your garbage waste collector. If the collector in your region doesn’t accept food waste, use a food waste collection service or put it in your general waste bin.

What you can’t put in a brown bin

  • Chemically sprayed grass/weeds
  • Ashes
  • Rocks, bricks, and gravel
  • Dog feces
  • Cat litter
  • Cigarette butts
  • Plastic, glass or packaging
  • Wood
  • (organic) diapers, tampons, etc.
  • Tree trunks
  • Asbestos

Brown bin tips:

  1. Put your food waste in a composting bag or newspaper to prevent (fruit) flies and pests.
  2. Use brown bin liners to ensure that no solid waste will come into contact with your bin walls or floor.
  3. Keep your bin shaded and out of direct sunlight. Keeping your brown bin cool reduces the chance of them heating up and creating a stink

Want to start composting yourself?

Read our blog post “How does a compost bin work?” and our blog post “Top 6: Best Garden Composter“.