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How to Participate in the COTC Home Composting Program

Create a New Habit in this Season of Creation

Did you know that more than 60% of household waste is compostable? During the first 8 months of 2020, our parish and its parishioners have contributed 18,000 pounds of compostables to the creation of healthy, organic soil for local community gardens. It’s super easy and greatly reduces the trash that you would otherwise be sending to a landfill where it will take up space and, ultimately, produce harmful methane gas. In this Season of Creation, and throughout the year, you are encouraged to make a habit of turning your food waste into compost. Below are simple instructions for how to get started.

How to Participate in the COTC Home Composting Program

  1. You will need a container and certified compostable bags to store and transmit your compostables. You can obtain both of these from Ellen Cole for $20. Email Ellen at ecole@thechapelofthecross.org. Alternatively, you can use any container and order your compostable bags from Amazon or any other supplier of your choice. Also, the green produce bags at Trader Joe’s are compostable.
  2. We partner with a commercial composter, so ALL organic matter and paper towels and napkins are acceptable. For more specific information on what can and cannot be composted, please see below.
  3. You will probably fill up several bags each week, so it’s a good idea to have a larger plastic container with a lid in which you can store your bags during the week. You’ll be amazed at how much you are diverting from the landfill.
  4. Then, bring your container to the Chapel of the Cross. There are large containers just inside the playground gate next to the kitchen labeled for compost. Just dump in your compostables. If you are not using compostable bags, just dump them out and discard your non-compostable bags in the trash. Don’t ever put plastic bags in the compost bins.
  5. That’s it! Of course, we recommend that you sanitize your hands before opening the gate and upon leaving the playground area.

What Can be Composted

Our continued participation in the free county compost collection program is contingent on us not contaminating compostables with items that are not acceptable. We ask that you bring only the following items to compost at COTC in order to simplify our quality control process.


  • Food waste
  • Paper towels & paper napkins
  • Flower or other plant waste
  • Coffee grounds


  • Human waste (e.g. no Kleenex)
  • Pet waste

  • ALL food waste is acceptable because the processor is a commercial facility. Bones, meat, grease, pits, seafood and egg shells are all fine.
  • Coffee grounds make excellent compost. Paper filters are fine but please don’t include K-cups and similar containers.
  • Paper towels and paper napkins may be of any color as long as they are made only of paper.
  • Compostable Bags: Our processor cannot accept the green tinted produce bags from local grocery stores except those from Trader Joe’s that are labeled “Compostable.”). Acceptable bags will say “BPI Certified” or “ASTM D6400 or D6868.” Don’t store your extra bags in the bottom of your bin – they compost quickly in moist warm conditions!

If you have questions about other items, please contact Anita Howell by phone or text 713-416-4382 before including them in your compostables for COTC.