Monday, September 14, 2009

Going Green: Curbside Composting

I learned something new the other day, something I had no idea even existed. I was chatting with some friends over at The Mamasphere, when I learned that there are some cities/towns out there that provide residents with curbside composting. In this particular instance it was California, San Francisco and Berkeley specifically. Seriously, I think this is the coolest thing ever and it made me want to pack my bags and move to the West Coast.

A little more information from

Though many people assume that food scraps and other biodegradable items eventually break down in the garbage dump, in reality, U.S. landfills allow for very little decomposition, says Darby Hoover, a resource specialist for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Landfills are sealed off to prevent contamination, so our banana peels, coffee grounds and egg shells are usually deprived of the oxygen they need to break down—and putting it all in plastic bags doesn’t help.

But, given the right conditions, much of what we throw away could readily be converted into nitrogen-rich compost, which can be used to increase soil quality for gardening and farming. And in fact, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of organic matter that’s composted instead of landfilled: Nationally, the rate is now 20 percent, up from only 2 percent in 1990, according to the U.S. EPA.
Slowly, it seems more cities are catching on and getting into this. Some other U.S. cities that provide curbside composting are Seattle, WA; Boulder, CO; Austin, TX and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.

I've wanted to start a compost for some time now, but the cost of compost bins is just too high for us right now so its been put off. But a curbside composting program would be fantastic and get so many more people to participate. Now in my little rural New England town, we don't have municipal waste pickup. Everything here is private - in fact there are 6 houses on my street and between us we use 3 different garbage companies. So I am not sure how we could get curbside composting here. But its definitely something I plan to look into.

If you happen to have curbside composting in your area, I would love to hear about it!


  1. Hi! We loved your post over at KiwiLog and decided to feature it as part of our weekly mom blog round-up. Cheers!

  2. Here are some ( made great compost bins that use hot composting method to turn food wastes into fertilizer in just two weeks. It's a great compact composter for apartment dwellers or anyone who doesn't want to have their food wastes haul hundred miles away by diesel guzzling trucks to the composting facilities.

  3. Hi Marianna,

    Just came by to tell you how awesome it is that you're interested in composting. I'm a big composting fan myself and use the Bokashi bin for it. It works great, but it sure is a big investment. There are plenty of ways to make your own compost piles, without spending too much money on it. Maybe you can do some research on that? I'm sure you'll manage!

    Thanks for a good read.


  4. We just got curbside composting this week in Spokane, WA!! We're very excited about it!!


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