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How to compost in Boston


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No matter where you live in Boston, the City provides many great ways for you to add composting to your weekly routine.

How to Compost Your Yard Waste

Composting is one of many ways you can reduce how much waste you throw out. It is a simple way to reduce your waste and combat climate change while giving back to your community. We have several valuable guides and resources that make it simple for you to compost in your neighborhood.

We make it easy for you:


Through our Project Oscar pilot program, you can drop off your household compost at six locations across Boston, 24 hours a day. Click to read a list of the items you can compost and find the closest drop off location.


From April until the first week of December, you can leave your yard waste out with your curbside recycling for us to collect. Place leaves and yard debris in large paper leaf bags or barrels labeled “Yard Waste”.  Note that we don’t accept plastic bags.


You can compost outdoors or indoors. Boston residents can buy subsidized bins and buckets to complete their set up, and there are several indoor methods. Read more about what makes a good compost pile.

As I learned from Roslindale resident Dan this month, compost is a rich, natural fertilizer that is made from used organic matter like kitchen scraps and yard waste. As it decomposes, its transforms into a nutrient-dense soil fertilizer that provides nutrition and health to gardens and farms.

Compostable waste like food leftovers from restaurants and your dinner plate makes up a significant part of Boston’s garbage generation. By making the simple switch in your weekly routine to bin and drop off your compost, you can do your part to move us towards a Zero Waste Boston.

This post is part of the Zero Waste Boston initiative. If you’d like to follow along as we discuss the ins and outs of going zero waste, you can subscribe to our general email list here. If you would like to receive periodic updates about the more technical side of the municipal waste management planning process, sign up here.

Environment Zero Waste Boston