Fettuccini recyclo 

That alfredo can be composted

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Hi Renee,

While I try my very best to avoid putting food into the trash by using or consuming it in some way and composting what I can (via Earth Mama!), I’m wondering about the best way to dispose of certain food waste I sometimes have. I have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, so there is inevitably once-edible food that must be discarded. For example, what is the best way to discard something like fettuccini alfredo that my 1-year-old has flung onto the floor? Because the pasta is mixed with a dairy-based sauce, I can’t compost it, right? Is it better to put it down the garbage disposal or into the trash or do you have another idea?

Thank you!


Hi Abbey,

It sounds like you’re an Earth mama in your own right. Well, I just got off the phone with the Earth Mama and she says your kamikaze alfredo is OK to compost. A small amount of contamination will not hurt the batch, especially on the large scale in which she is composting.

Now, if you’re composting in your own backyard you will want to be mindful of animal products as they have a tendency to attract critters. If that small amount of alfredo sauce or ranch dressing or even a tiny amount of meat gets into your compost, be sure to cover it well.

As for whether to put waste down the garbage disposal or into the trash, I lean toward the trash mostly because our wastewater treatment facilities are so overburdened and raw sewage can make its way to our rivers and streams.

Piece out,


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Renee Sweany

Renee Sweany

Renee has spent the past several years surrounding herself with like-minded people who share her passion for caring for the planet. She began writing “Ask Renee” after four years of offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. E-mail her your green living queries at rsweany@sbcglobal.net.

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