Curbside Compost Pilot

Coming to a curb near you...Curbside Composting 4.2.2018

The curbside compost pilot is ending...because the program is going citywide! All buildings with less than 13 units that have City trash pickup will be eligible beginning April 2, 2018. Eligible residences get: instructions, an indoor kitchen bin with compostable bags, and a green curbside bin. 

For Cambridge residents not eligible for the expansion, you are welcome to bring food scraps to one of the drop off compost sites, get a subscription with a private pickup service, or consider composting at home with a backyard bin.

Stores selling compostable bags: 

  • Harvest Coop (580 Massachusetts Ave): Bags are located near front of the store in the far right aisle
  • Pemberton Farms (2225 Massachusetts Ave): Bags are located in the back of the store near ice cream
  • Tags Hardware (29 White Street): Bags are located on left side of store, in Housewares section.
  • Cambridge Naturals (23 White Street): Ask Customer Service for location of bags
  • Whole Foods (numerous locations): Ask Customer Service for location of bags

For a coupon for compostable bags, email

Why is composting a good thing?    

  • Protect the climate: reduced methane emissions at landfills.
  • Reduce waste: food scraps and food-soiled paper are approximately 40% of Cambridge's waste stream.
  • Manage pests: locking lids on compost bins are more secure than trash bins.
  • Cut trash costs: compost costs less to dispose of than trash.

More Info:

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.


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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

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Saturday: 9:00am-4:00pm