Curbside Compost Pilot

Have you heard the good news? Due to the great success of the one year pilot program, free weekly curbside pickup of food scraps will expand to include all residential buildings (12 units or less) with city trash service in the Monday collection route beginning October 19, 2015. Bins will be delivered to eligible residences between October 6-14 and will get: instructions, an indoor kitchen bin with compostable bags, and a green curbside bin (to share at multi-family buildings). The finished compost, great for gardens is available to Cambridge residents April-October at the Recycling Center during open hours.

Call for volunteers to help educate residents! Four weeknights: Thurs 10/8, Tues 10/13, Wed 10/14, and Thurs 10/15. Help maximize participation, reduce waste, and protect our climate. Click here to sign up!

The City expects to expand compost collection citywide in subsequent years. In the meantime, all Cambridge residents are welcome to bring their food scraps to one of the drop off compost sites, or consider composting at home with a backyard bin or indoor bin.

The original 1 year pilot program began April 2014. A year later, over 600 participating households collected over 170,000 pounds of food scraps. Instead of being landfilled or sent to an incinerator, this material was made into rich compost by Rocky Hill Farm in Saugus, MA. During the pilot, the average amount of organics collected was 6.6 lbs per household per week, reducing trash by nearly 35%. The program maintained a satisfaction rate of 95%. Click here to the download the project reports. This project was funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Project partners also include Cambridge School Department, Cambridge Public Library, BioBag USA, and Novamont.

 

Why is composting a good thing?    

  • It’s nature's way of recycling food scraps and compost makes excellent soil to grow healthy food. 
  • It’s good for the environment and reducing waste feels good. Love food, hate waste! 
  • It helps protect the climate by reducing potent greenhouse gas emissions at landfills. 
  • Curbside compost collection will help the City control trash costs and meet its goals to reduce trash 30% by 2020 and 80% less by 2050. 
  • Farming and gardening with compost requires less water and helps to avoid the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139

Phone:617.349.4800
TDD:617.499.9924

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Recycling Center Hours
Tuesday & Thursday: 4:00pm-7:30pm
Saturday: 9:00am-4:00pm

Ms. Randi Mail
Director of Recycling
617.349.4866
rmail@cambridgema.gov