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  • Why do I need to compost if I can grind up food scraps in the sink disposal?
    Putting your food scraps down the garbage disposal is worse than putting it in the landfill. You use fresh drinking water, which is really precious—and resource intensive to use—to do this. You also have to pay the City for your water use that comes into and leaves your house. This action squanders a lot of nutrients in the food that could be reclaimed. You ground up food scraps get mixed with all sorts of chemicals, sewage, forever pollutants, and other things that have to be removed in a facility. Your scraps also—because of the ridiculous system we have—run the risk of ending up being dumped into the rivers with raw sewage when there are over flow events. It is a deeply irresponsible way to process all of a household’s food waste.
  • Why should I compost?
    Composting is an important way for you to immediately reduce your impact on the planet and to help mitigate climate change. When food scraps or compostable materials are put into a landfill, they turn into methane gas (a climate breakdown accelerant that is 25 times more potent than carbon emissions) and liquefy and mix with toxic chemicals to become leachate that will contaminate groundwater. When you compost, you reclaim the nutrients that are in your food scraps. You sink their carbon back into the soil for the future use of raising plants.
  • Where does Dirt Wain offer its services?
    We provide food scrap pick up, and drop off sites, in Greater Fort Wayne, Huntertown, Roanoke, Leo/Cedarville, Huntington, Wabash, North Manchester, South Whitley, New Haven, and Columbia City. We are looking to expand to other municipalities.
  • What do I do about missed pick ups, missing buckets/bins, or going on vacation?
    Fill out and submit the form on this page. It will go directly to everyone at Dirt Wain and we can resolve the issue more rapidly.
  • What does Dirt Wain do?
    Dirt Wain picks up food scraps, yard waste, and pet waste, from households, businesses, organizations, and communities, and turns them into compost.
  • Can dead leaves from my houseplants and flower pots go in the compost?
    Yes. They are a valuable source of carbon and good for hungry microbes.
  • I have some bad eggs. Can I break them open and put them in the compost shells and all?
    You do not need to break the eggs open. You can put them in the compost whole.
  • Can I compost my cheesecloth from making cheese?
    This is a good thing to add to the compost. The cheesecloth is made from cotton and will decompose rapidly in the compost.
  • Can I put toothpicks in the compost?
    Yes. You can also put in wooden popsicle sticks and skewers.
  • We can't recycle greasy pizza boxes. Can we compost them?
    Yes, but only if they are not printed in full color and glossy (see above FAQ for more information). Tear them up into pieces and add them to your compost bucket. They are made up of tree pulp and will break down rapidly and add their carbonaceous nutrients to the compost pile.
  • I have several natural deodorants I bought that don’t work for me. They contain plant- and mineral-based materials. Can I compost them?
    You most likely can compost the items. Please send us an image of the front and back of the package. If the packaging has "BPI Certified" on it, then you can skip contacting us and compost the material.
  • I have cotton pants. Can those be added to the compost?
    If the pants are still wearable, take them to a thrift store. If the pants are 100% cotton, you can compost them. Remove any elastic bands, zippers, buttons or other items that are not cotton before you add it to your bucket. You must cut the pants into pieces the size of your thumb before adding them. If you do not, we will throw them away.
  • Are there types of pizza boxes I can and cannot compost?
    You can compost pizza boxes that are printed directly on cardboard in a couple of colors like the ones pictured above. The ink is minimal and there is not coating over the printing. You should recycle the pizza boxes that are printed in full color and are glossy. They are coated in a plastic sealant. The cardboard will break down leaving the plastic to contaminate the compost pile.
  • We just started using bamboo toothbrushes. Can we compost them when they are worn out?
    Absolutely. Bamboo is a grass and is welcome in the compost bin. Make sure you break the plastic bristles off first and put them in the trash.
  • What is the best compostable cat litter to use with my PooPeePet subscriptions?
    We prefer Purina’s “Yesterday’s News” cat litter as the bag is made of paper and can be recycled. Here are some possible choices that each have non-recylable, non-compostable bags:
  • What happens to materials in Zero Waste Bags after you collect them?
    We’ve partnered with TerraCycle to recycle the materials in your Zero Waste Bag. They guarantee that all compliant materials that are collected are recycled. The items are received by their material recovery partners where they are sorted into individual material components. Each material is then recycled into a raw format that can be used to make new products TerraCycle is committed to verification and transparency, maintaining records and regularly auditing their supply chain to ensure that they can stand behind their recycling guarantee. They strictly control the movement of materials through each part of the recycling process so they can track and confirm where materials were sent and for what purpose. Bureau Veritas —a world leader in testing, inspection, and certification services— annually audits their collection and recycling supply chains, as do many of their partners. Explore how each material is processed.
  • Is there anything you can’t accept in your Zero Waste Bags?
    We cannot accept any items that are not included in the 24 accepted waste stream categories. We also cannot accept any loose items placed outside of the Zero Waste Bags or any Zero Waste Bags that are filled in such a way where the bag cannot be closed. In addition, Small and Large Zero Waste Bags accept different waste streams. Please only put accepted items (listed on the bag) in the respective Zero Waste Bag. If you are unsure or have a specific question, please contact us at
  • Do I need to schedule a pickup of my full Zero Waste Bag I have a pick up plan?
    No need to mark your calendar! Just place your Zero Waste Bag next to your Dirt Wain bucket or bin on your usual collection day whenever it's full and ready to go.
  • If I cancel my composting service, how do I return my full Zero Waste Bag?
    You will need to pay an Extra Bag Pick Up for us to get your bag.
  • Where can I purchase a Zero Waste Bag? When will I receive it?
    You can purchase our Small, Large, or Extra-Large Zero Waste Bags via our shop. We will drop bags off on your pick up day.
  • Can I put more than 1 type of waste stream in a Zero Waste Bag?
    No. Please only put items from one specific waste stream in each Zero Waste Bag. Mark the checkbox for that waste stream on the bag to indicate what’s inside.
  • Can I return unused Zero Waste Bags?
    We do not offer returns or refunds for Zero Waste Bags.
  • Once you collect my full Zero Waste Bags, will you automatically bring me another empty bag?
    No. After we collect your full Zero Waste Bags, you can continue recycling your hard-to-recycle items by purchasing Zero Waste Bags from our online store as needed.
  • What are accepted waste streams?
    Small Zero Waste Bag Cigarette butts Coffee capsules Corks Cosmetics packaging Eyewear Ink and toner cartridges Media storage Oral care packaging Personal protective equipment Plastic bottle caps Water filters Wires and cords Large Zero Waste Bag All plastic packaging Fabrics & Clothing Food & drink pouches Milk & juice cartons Office supplies Party supplies & disposables Pet food packaging Shoes & footwear Sporting goods Styrofoam Toys Used cleaning supplies Extra-large Zero Waste Bag All plastic packaging Food & drink pouches Milk & juice cartons Party supplies & disposables Pet food packaging Styrofoam Used cleaning supplies
  • Do I have to clean the items before I put them in my Zero Waste Bag?
    Yes. Please remove as much of the remaining product as possible before including the item in your bag.
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