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NYC Organics Collection Bags and Liners


Bag or liner usage is not required for this program; in fact we encourage you to dispose of organic material directly into your organics collection bin. However, bags and liners can help keep your collection container clean and increase participation.

acceptable bags and liners
non-acceptable bags and liners
where to buy compostable bags

bin requirements
organics collection and drop-off programs

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Acceptable Bags and Liners


If you choose to line your brown bin, you may use:Biodegradable Products Institute - United States Composting Council (BPI-USCC) CERTIFIED COMPOSTABLE logo

  • a certified compostable plastic bag that bears the BPI-USCC logo
  • newspaper
  • a brown paper bag
  • a CLEAR plastic recycling bag (least preferred option since plastic is not compostable)

Find out where to purchase compostable bags that meet BPI-USCC requirements. Compostable bags come in many sizes. Purchase compostable bags at least 24” x 32” for 13-gallon bins and 28” x 45” for 21-gallon bins. Note: number of gallons is not always a good indicator if the bags will fit; please use dimensions.

City agencies should order bags through their normal procurement mechanisms.

Public schools should use clear plastic bags for all waste streams - organics, recycling and trash (bags for your brown organics bin can be obtained through your school's Kitchen Manager).


Many people do not line their counter-top containers. You may, however, use:

  • a 2- to 3-gallon certified compostable plastic bag that bears the BPI-USCC logo
  • newspaper
  • a brown paper bag


Place any yard waste that doesn’t fit in the brown bin with the lid closed in:

  • a rigid container labeled "YARD WASTE"
  • paper lawn & leaf bags
  • tied bundles
  • CLEAR plastic recycling bags

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Non-Acceptable Bags and Liners

  • Plastic shopping bags do not belong in the bin. If you use a plastic shopping bag to collect food scraps, empty the contents into the brown bin, and then throw away the bag.
  • Plastic recycling bags that are not clear (no black garbage bags; tinted certified compostable bags are OK).

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Where to Buy Compostable Bags

Compostable bags used in NYC Organics Collection are required to be certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute - United States Composting Council (BPI-USCC). Most major brands carry this certification, and have this logo stamped on the box.

Biodegradable Products Institute - United States Composting Council (BPI-USCC) CERTIFIED COMPOSTABLE logo

Local Retailers

Certified-compostable plastic bags can be found at local retail stores in and around the pilot areas.

We've added new stores in Brooklyn! Click the PDF or map below.

map of compostable bag retailers list of compostable bag retailers We regularly update an online map of these stores . You can also download a list of stores [pdf] with contact information. Please contact us if you know of retailers that should be added to this list.

Online Retailers
Some online retailers include:

Wholesalers sometimes sell to small apartment buildings and the general public. We encourage wholesalers who are not on this list to carry certified-compostable bags, and to contact us to be added to this list.

Some wholesalers who currently carry certified-compostable bags include:

The following brands meet the requirements for use in NYC's organics collection pilot. Some of these manufacturers offer discounts to large buildings or groups during the pilot. Interested buildings should contact us for a list of current discounts.

Bag to Nature logo

Bag to Nature

Biobag logo


Eco Safe logo


Glad logo


Ucan logo

Untrash by Ucan


Other manufacturers that meet these requirements include Bio-Tuf , If You Care , and Natur-Bag .

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