Containers with Q-Tips and Cottonballs

Bathroom Composting

Hi Sam,

I’ve been composting in the kitchen for a while and would like to get into composting in the bathroom as well. But, I’m not sure what’s okay to compost!



Dear Amelia,

Thank you for your dedication to recycling organic waste in your kitchen and for committing to collecting organic waste in your bathroom, too! Below is a Yes and No list of items frequently thrown away in the bathroom and whether or not they can go in your city green cart for organics recycling.


These common bathroom items are commercially compostable and can be collected in a compostable bag and placed in your city organics recycling green cart:

  • facial tissue (used to blow nose, no chemicals or makeup)
  • Q-tips™ with paper stems only (no plastic)
  • cotton balls without chemicals on them (no makeup or nail polish remover chemicals)
  • 100% silk dental floss
  • human and pet hair
  • fingernail and toenail clippings


These common bathroom items are trash and should be collected and placed in your city garbage cart:

  • synthetic dental floss
  • feminine hygiene and incontinence products
  • makeup remover pads, cotton balls, tissues, and Q-tips™ that have been saturated with makeup, makeup remover chemicals
  • Band-Aids™, bandages, first-aid items, and anything that has been used to disinfect a wound
  • Baby, personal and flushable moist wipes
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetics, perfume, and soap

I’ve tried to list the most common bathroom items above. The City of Minneapolis has a comprehensive Yes and No list here. I printed this list and posted it for quick reference in my own home. Good luck and happy composting!


Sustainability Sam