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Curbside Compost Goes Citywide in April 2018

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In 2009, the City set a goal to reduce residential trash disposal by 30% by 2020, and by 80% by 2050 . 

With that goal in mind, the City has committed to expanding the current curbside compost program to all residential buildings with 1 to 12 units beginning April 2018. This will increase the program from 5,200 households to 25,000 households (8,100 buildings).

Beginning in January 2018, the Department of Public Works will launch a sustained educational campaign to reach residents to inform them about the new curbside compost program, how to use their new bins, and share best practices to be successful with composting in the home.

In March and April of 2018, program equipment (including a kitchen compost bin, curbside bin, compostable bags, and instructions) will be delivered to all 1-12 unit residential buildings in the city.

On April 2, 2018, all 1-12 unit residential buildings with City trash service will begin receiving curbside compost collection on their regular trash/recycling pickup day.

The diversion of food scraps from the waste stream and into curbside organics collection programs is an important strategy in municipal solid waste management. Cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Portland (OR), Boulder, and Vancouver (Canada) currently collect residential food scraps and organics. San Francisco is among the leaders in this field, having diverted 80% of residential solid waste to recycling or composting. New York City recently began investing heavily in curbside organics collection. Few New England communities have committed to curbside organics programs at this time, and Cambridge hopes to be a leader in our region.

The goal of citywide curbside compost collection is to significantly reduce both trash volume and greenhouse gas emissions, and we encourage residents to check the Public Works website often for news and announcements related to the launch of curbside composting in April 2018.

Last Updated: 11/13/2017

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