Participation and Logistics


                                                                           Participation and Logistics

When will the program start and how long will it last?
The program will run from April 7, 2014 through March 30, 2015 with weekly curbside pickup on Monday's. During holiday weeks, collection is delayed one day. Check the online schedule for holidays including President’s Day, Patriot’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

What materials will I receive? Are they free?
Each participating household will receive a green kitchen container for food/soiled paper scraps, and a year supply of compostable BioBags (150 bags). Your residence will also get a green curbside bin, to share at multi-family buildings that have common recycling toters and trash barrels. All materials, and weekly pickup, are free to participating residents.

What materials can I compost?
Please click here to view a list of materials that can be composted.

How will weekly collection work?
Throughout the week you will use your kitchen container, lined with a BioBag, to collect food scraps and soiled paper. When it gets full, remove the bag, tie it, and place in the curbside bin. Set your green curbside bin at the curb next to your trash and recycling after 6 pm the night before collection or by7 am on collection day. A dedicated Department of Public Works truck will come by to empty your green curbside bin.

When will I get the kitchen containers, bags, and curbside bins? How will they be distributed?
The Department of Public Works will set a schedule in during the first 2 weeks of March 2014 for participating households to pick up the materials from various locations in the pilot neighborhood.

Where will the compost go? 
DPW will take the collected food scraps and soiled paper to Rocky Hill Farm in Saugus, MA. Rocky Hill Farm lets the material decompose in piles for 1-2 weeks and then loads it into their in-vessel digester. In 3 days, the material is completely broken down into compost. The digester is a rotating drum 53 feet long, 10 feet in diameter, with a capacity of 150 cubic yards. The drum turns once every 15 minutes and temperatures reaches between 140-160 degrees. The material is then put into windrows (long neat piles) for another 4 weeks to fully mature. The next stage is to screen the compost and remove any large particles. The finished compost is sold to farmers, gardeners, and landscapers. The compost can be spread on fields for the growing of vegetables, used as a soil amendment, turf dressing, erosion control, potted plants or used in heavy soils to increase drainage. Residents can get small amounts of the finished compost, great for gardens at the Recycling Center from April-October during open hours (Tuesday/Thursday 4pm-7:30pm & Saturday 9am-4pm).


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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8:00pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5:00pm
Friday: 8:30am-12 noon
24 Hour emergency 617.349.4860


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

Owen O'Riordan