Cambridge Launches Free Small Business Compost Pilot

Green Compost Bin

The City of Cambridge today announced the city will launch a free Small Business Compost Pilot for up to 100 small businesses in Fall 2021. The goal of this pilot is to assist businesses in reducing costs while reducing our impact on climate change. The city will offer up to twice per week collection of two carts of food waste from small businesses in Cambridge. The service and carts will be provided by the city at no cost to the participating businesses.

Currently, the city’s curbside compost program is available to all residential buildings on the city’s trash collection route. Composting reduces trash going to landfills and converts food scraps into clean energy. Separating food waste from trash bins and placing it in curbside compost carts also helps manage rodents in the community as the locking green compost carts make it more difficult for rodents to access food scraps that might otherwise end up in trash bins.

In the residential curbside compost collection program, the city collects approximately 40 tons of food waste weekly. The Small Business Compost Pilot has the potential of diverting an additional 40 tons per week.

“Building upon our successful Small Business Recycle Program that now serves 200 businesses, this free Small Business Compost Pilot is another key part of our waste reduction efforts, and an additional service the City is providing to support small businesses,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “More than 50% of waste from food service businesses is food waste, and separating food waste from the trash helps fight climate change and manage increasing waste disposal costs.”

To apply for the pilot, interested Cambridge businesses must fill out this application before October 1, 2021.

The city will host two public meetings to review the program and answer questions from the business community. The meetings will be held on Zoom and registration is required. The meetings are:

With the introduction of the Small Business Compost Pilot, Cambridge will have the second largest compost program on the East Coast, behind only New York City. Since curbside compost collection began in 2014, Cambridge has diverted more than 5,000 tons of food waste.

For more information, please contact the Department of Public Works at or call 617-349-4800.

Page was posted on 8/24/2021 3:35 PM
Page was last modified on 10/14/2021 11:22 AM
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