What to Compost

food scraps 350x266All households participating in the pilot program for curbside compost pickup will get a green kitchen scrap container and a year supply of BioBags. All participating residences will get a green curbside bin. Place food scraps in your green kitchen container lined with a BioBag. You can also place food scraps in paper bags. Place bags of food scraps into the green curbside bin 2-3 times per week. Avoid loose food in curbside bins.


Food Scraps

  • All Vegetable & Fruit Scraps
  • Meat Scraps & Bones
  • Dairy Products
  • Seafood & Shells
  • Eggshells & Nutshells
  • Breads, Cereal & Pasta
  • Cookies & Candy
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Even spoiled food

Soiled Paper

  • Used Napkins & Paper Towels
  • Paper Bags
  • Coffee Filters
  • Tea Bags & Paper Sugar Packets
  • Waxed Paper & Paper Sandwich Wrappers
  • Paper Clamshell Takeout Containers (i.e. from Whole Foods)
  • Greasy pizza boxes

Other Acceptable Materials


  • No Grease or Liquids
  • No Diapers or Baby Wipes
  • No Pet or Human Waste
  • No Cigarette Butts
  • No Dryer Lint or Dryer Sheets
  • No Plastic Bags
  • No Rigid Plastic
  • No Metal or Foil
  • No Glass
  • No Expanded Polystyrene (“Styrofoam”)

Important Tips:

  • Keep liquids out (no milk, grease, or cooking oil) 
  • Try to drain excess moisture from food first 
  • Wrap meat, fish or shellfish in newspaper or paper bag
  • Keep the curbside bin locked and outside in a ventilated and if possible, shady spot 
  • Place the curbside bin out for weekly pickup, even if it is not full 
  • Clean your kitchen bucket in the dishwasher 
  • If needed, clean the curbside bin with soap and water. Drain liquids onto a grassy area. Wash water should never enter a catch basin because it goes straight to the Charles river.
  • Remember no plastic, no metal, no Styrofoam and no glass.

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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


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