Bitter Cold in the Forecast
Mayor Wu declared a cold emergency in the City of Boston from Friday, February 3, through Sunday, February 5.
Last updated:

Community Garden Compost Drop-off

The City of Boston is partnering with local community gardens as neighborhood food scrap drop-off sites. We're providing them with the tools, training, and support to compost their neighbors' food waste. 

Our program offers residents a place to compost their food scraps. We also  gives gardens access to compost that they need to grow food and other plants. We will be announcing the new drop-off locations in June 2022.

The City is now recruiting community gardens to participate in a pilot season. Submit an application for your garden or urban agriculture project below, and read on to learn more. 

How-To Participate

Community Gardeners

  1. Use the link below to apply to host a compost drop-off site by May 1, 2022. If you have any questions, register to attend our application workshop before applying. The workshop will be held on April 21.
  2. Meet fellow community gardeners who will also be participating in the Community Garden Compost Drop-off program. 
  3. Receive tools, training, and support to compost food waste from your neighbors. 
  4. Report data each week, and receive rewards for your garden. 


  1. Check back here in June for a map of community gardens that accept compost drop-offs. Read on to learn about what you will be able to compost at your local community garden. 
  2. No need to wait until June to start composting your food waste! Visit out Project Oscar page to find your local Project Oscar bin, and learn how to start composting your food waste in Boston. 

Online Application

Apply to host a compost drop-off site at your community garden or urban agricultural project. If you have questions before submitting your application, register for the application workshop on April 21. 

Apply for the program

Items Accepted at Community Drop-offs

Accepted Items

Fruits and vegetables
Please be sure to remove all stickers.

Coffee, tea, and nuts
No synthetic tea bags please!

Flowers and houseplants
All flowers and houseplants are accepted. 

Rice, pasta, bread, and grains
Compost these items at Project Oscar!

Eggs and eggshells
Compost these items at Project Oscar!

Meat, fish, and dairy 

Compostable plastic products

Common Questions

Common Questions

It is not a problem! Participating gardens will have the chance to take part in compost learning opportunities. They will have access to on-site training and technical help. 

Yes! We will provide participating sites all the supplies necessary to set up and operate a small-scale compost site. 

Participants can earn tools and other supplies for their garden. Examples include rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows. Additionally, participants can earn educational materials, such as children's books and advanced composting guides. A menu of rewards will be made available to program participants.

Participating gardens will be asked to post a sign indicating open hours each week, and a list of accepted materials. During posted hours, gardens will place a bin in a publicly accessible location either nearby the garden's gate, or inside the garden. Signs, bins, and helpful tools will be provided. 

While it is not required, some gardens may choose to have volunteers staff their sites during open hours to engage local residents who participate and explain how to drop off compost. After collecting compostable material from the public, the site will process the material on-site in their compost bins. 

We will ask participating gardens to track the amount of material composted each week. Participants will receive scales to weigh collected material, as well as notebooks and other supplies for keeping notes. We will give participants access to an online form where they can report the collected weights. 

In exchange for submitting data over the course of the program, participants will earn rewards for their garden. Participants will be able to select rewards from a menu of options. Gardens will also have access to their data throughout and after the program, including charts showing progress over time.

Unfortunately, no. Participation requires explicit permission from your garden's leadership. If you are unsure whether you have permission to participate, please speak with your garden manager.

Back to top