Organic Waste Recovery or Turning Your Old Banana Peels in Something Amazing

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, about 38 percent of municipal solid waste in the United States consists of food waste, yard waste, and wood waste. All of these materials are organic and could be spared from the landfill through source reduction, redistribution, reuse, and composting. Do you want to cut your organic waste and your waste disposal bills? Good. Check out these helpful tips.

Sort Wood Waste

Teton County wants your wood waste. Clean, untreated wood is chipped and used in the county’s composting operation, which transforms approximately 70 tons of dead livestock and waste from meat processing facilities into soil a year. The biggest challenge is getting enough wood chips to use in the operation. Please bring your brush and clean, untreated wood to the sorted piles at the Transfer Station to continue making this program a success.

Sorted waste only costs $15/ton at the Transfer Station compared to $210/ton for unsorted waste, so it really pays to separate your yard waste, scrap wood, scrap metal, noxious weeds, recycling and much more. Wood and yard waste is chipped and used in the County’s animal carcass composting program.

It is illegal to burn treated wood products in Idaho.


Teton Valley Community Recycling is currently working in conjunction with Teton County Solid Waste and RAD Curbside to create a policy that will encourage contractors to sort their Construction and Demolition waste. This effort aligns with the Waste Diversion Plan. Construction and Demolition is the one area where needs could be addressed sooner rather than later. We’ll keep you up to date on this progress.

Compost Yard Waste

Compost yard waste is easy to compost at home. Mulching mowers are the easiest way to reuse grass clippings. However, a simple compost bin made of wood pallets can divert and compost organic waste from your yard and garden with minimal maintenance.


Brush can be sorted and disposed of at the Transfer Station, where it will be chipped and reused. Yard waste and manure can also be sorted and disposed of at the Transfer Station. The county plans to start composting yard waste and manure in 2014.

Reduce, Redistribute, and Compost Food Waste

We are not able to compost at the county level yet. However, TVCR encourages residents to compost their own food waste.


compostingclass1Reduce food waste at the source by sticking to foods you know and love, choosing smaller portion sizes or using smaller serving plates, storing food properly, and considering secondary uses for leftovers.


Feed hungry people by donating excess food to the Teton Valley Food Pantry. Feed livestock by partnering with TVCR to connect food waste producers with local farmers. This is most appropriate for restaurants and industrial kitchens, but households could also partner with neighbors who have chickens or hogs.