Who is eligible to participate in the pilot?
Residents must live in a specific area of North Cambridge (in green on the map). Residences must have city trash service. Your home can be a single-family, or a multi-family building with up to 12 units.

Why is the pilot limited to this area?
This particular section of North Cambridge was chosen because it has a good selection of mixed housing types, and this area is underserved by the current compost drop off program,

Why not buildings with 13 + units or residences with private trash?
Similar to the beginning of the curbside recycling program in 1991, we are limiting participation to buildings with 12 or fewer units.  This will allows the City to target the pilot and establish best practices for potential future roll out to larger multi-family buildings. 

The City provides trash collection for about 2/3 of all residences, and therefore are priority participants for the pilot. Can I participate if I already compost at home?
Yes! In fact, we encourage you to do so.   The curbside compost program will be a great addition to your home compost system since some materials such as meat, seafood, dairy, pet food, cannot be composted in a backyard compost system, they are accepted in the curbside compost pilot program.  This is also a great way to keep other food scraps and soiled paper out of the trash.   

What can I do if I’m not eligible to participate?
All Cambridge residents have several composting options:

  • Drop-Off Locations (Click here to view drop-off locations)
  • Bicycle Pick-up Services (Metro Pedal Power & Bootstrap Compost
  • Compost outdoors or with worms at home! Click here to view how.

If my residence isn’t eligible, can I just bring my food scraps to a neighbor that is participating and eligible, and use their bin?
First and foremost, thank you for your commitment to composting, but please use the drop-off compost program or arrange for bicycle pick up.  Since this is a pilot program, one of our goals is to collect good quality data about participation (i.e. pounds per household per week). We do not want non-eligible residents to impact the results of the pilot program, by skewing data used to measure program success, and ultimately the City’s ability to plan for the potential roll out of a citywide curbside compost program Thanks in advance for your cooperation, we appreciate your understanding and support. 

Are businesses eligible to participate?
This program is limited to residences only.  Businesses with small weekly quantities can contact 2 local bicycle companies for curbside collection, and businesses with large weekly quantities con contact several local haulers including Save that Stuff, Casella, B-P Trucking, EOMS, EL Harvey, or JRM for quotes on collection of food scraps. Click here to view a list of private haulers for recycling and trash.

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