Can I put old compost in my green bin?

QUESTION: Can I put old compost in my green bin? It’s just sitting in a finished pile and I haven’t had a garden in several seasons. – Mark M

ANSWER: If your city uses a three-bin system with a green bin for yard waste and food waste, it’s probably not recommended to put old compost into your green bin. Although old compost is biodegradable and organic like the other things you place in your green bin, after doing some research we noticed that several cities had listed dirt on their list of substances not to include in green bins, and finished compost is, at its core, dirt—though it is more rich in nutrients than most dirt you would find in nature.

Of course, you always have the option of contacting your city’s waste removal department to ask them about the local guidelines, as regulations vary from one city to another.

Instead, why don’t your spread it on your lawn? Compost enriches your soil, and it will generally disappear from the surface within a few days if you spread it on the grass — especially if you water it in.