Compost at Home or with a Service

Compost enriches the earth for plants and other organisms that live in the soil. Over 51% of the trash that goes to landfills is compostable. In a landfill, organic waste contributes to the generation of methane, and what could be a valuable resource is lost. Composting can reduce your household waste by up to 50%, helping to reduce trash disposal costs for both you and the town.  Also, your trash bin will smell much cleaner without rotting food! Without the moisture in your trash, you can line your waste bin with a paper bag instead of plastic, keeping many plastic bags from ending up in landfills or in incinerators.

Can I compost at home?   Yes!  By composting in your own yard, you avoid unnecessary transportation of materials back and forth and add nutrients back into the soil.  Read instructions on the basics of composting from the EPA and the Rodale Institute

Can I compost if I live in an apartment? Yes! For those without a yard, vermicomposting or indoor composting with worms, is a space saving option. You can make your own bin or purchase one that has added convenience features through retailers. It is simple to do, and makes a fun science project for kids!

Want to sign up for curbside pick up? Consider using Black Earth Compost, for reliable weekly curbside pickup service of all your food scraps and organics, including food-stained newspaper, flower cuttings, meat, grease, cheese and even bones. See the full list of  what you can put in the bin. In the spring you can either receive a voucher for a bag of finished compost, redeemable at participating Garden Centers, or you can donate your compost to Backyard Growers. Businesses, restaurants, schools, and assisted living facilities can use this service too.

Why Black Earth? Several Sustainable Milton members have used their service and had a good experience. Also, our partners at EnergizeWayland and Green Newton have identified Black Earth as a reliable composting service and they have also been used by the cities of Natick and Newton.

Steps to Take

Composting at Home

  1. Buy a compost bin or build your own. The DPW makes compost bins available to Milton Residents at wholesale prices. Residents can purchase an Earth Machines composter at the Treasurer's Office at Town Hall for $43. The composters will then be available for pickup at the Milton DPW Yard (629 Randolph Avenue) on the following Thursday
  2. Read up on the basics of composting from EPA and the Rodale Institute
  3. Use a small bucket on your countertop or other covered container to collect your food scraps and empty regularly into your yard compost bin
  4. Save some of your fall leaves or torn newspapers to mix in to your pile to maintain the correct balance of materials

For home composting, it’s best to keep meat and cheese out of the bin Commercial services will accept these items.

Try indoor worm composting if you don't have a yard! Bootstrap compost sells an inexpensive starter kit that makes it easy!

Curbside Pickup

  1. Visit the Black Earth website to check out their services and select one that is right for you. Order your Starter Kit, which includes a handy, critter-proof bin on wheels, a roll of bags to line the bin so it stays clean, and a roll of smaller bags for your kitchen compost container. Once registered, you will be given instructions about where to pick up your Starter Kit.
  2. Let us know how it goes by leaving a testimonial!

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