Is there a difference between biodegradable and compostable?

Yes, they are different!  All compostable items are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable items are compostable! 

Biodegradable, by definition, has no time requirement, so a product could take 100 years to biodegrade.  Whereas compostable products follow strict ASTM Standards and have a short time limit in days, not years.

In addition, biodegradable materials can sometimes leave behind metal residue and other non-natural byproducts, whereas, compostable materials create compost (also called humus) that is 100% natural and safe to have in our environment.

Please make sure all items going into food scrap carts are certified BPI compostable and you will be following the strict ASTM standards properly.  Thank you.

Show All Answers

1. Why are the food scrap carts locked and what is the lock code?
2. Should I use a compostable liner bag in my bin or pour food scraps into cart loosely?
3. Is there a difference between biodegradable and compostable?
4. I live in the region but not in the official City of Charleston limits, may I participate too?
5. Can I add yard debris to the food scrap carts?
6. Where can I report a maintenance concern or program issue?
7. Why aren't there more drop sites?
8. How do I store my food scraps?
9. How frequently should I drop-off my food scraps?
10. Will the program accept compostable bags and other BPI certified compostable containers?
11. Where will the food scraps go?
12. How often are the food-waste carts emptied?
13. What are the benefits of composting?
14. How do I sign-up and is there a cost?
15. How do I participate and when are drop sites open?
16. What items can I put in the food scrap carts?
17. How is commercial composting different from backyard composting?
18. I already compost in my backyard, can I still drop off food scraps and participate in the program?
19. I’d like to compost in my backyard, do you have any tips?
20. Can businesses compost using this program?