Curbside Food Waste Collection
Enrollment is now open for free, curbside food waste collection service for Boston residents. To qualify, you must live in a building with six-units or less. Food scraps collected curbside will be used to make nutrient-rich soil and clean energy. Service will begin in August 2022. If you have enrolled in curbside food waste collection, you will receive an email from our partners at Garbage to Garden detailing your first collection day. If you have not received an email, it may have gone to your spam folder.
If you live in a big building, you can use Project Oscar community compost drop-offs located throughout the City to compost food scraps!
Sign Up for Curbside Food Waste Collection
Enrollment is open city-wide, space is limited so sign up today!
You can sign up for curbside food waste collection through the link below. Our partners at Garbage to Garden will reach out with more information.Sign up for Curbside Food Waste Collection
How-to Collect Food ScrapsHow-to Guide
Frequently Asked QuestionsCommon Questions
The City of Boston is collaborating with Garbage to Garden and Save That Stuff to bring curbside food waste collection to Boston.
Garbage to Garden provides curbside composting service to thousands of households in Massachusetts and Maine. The program began with the idea to make municipal-scale composting easy, clean, and accessible to all.
Save That Stuff has become a leading fully-integrated service provider for:
- organics-to-energy-recycling, and
Headquartered in Charlestown, Save That Stuff also has a composting facility in Brockton/West Bridgewater. They will be processing the food scraps collected in this program at both facilities.
Both the 12-gallon curbside bin and countertop bin include a latching lid that seals in odors. The use of compostable liners can help keep the bin clean week-to-week. The liners also allow for:
- easy removal of food waste on collection day
- easy wipe-downs of the container for maintenance, and
- help prevent spills from any liquids when tied shut.
For particularly smelly food items (like meat scraps, seafood shells, or expired dairy), it can be helpful to:
- wrap those food scraps in newspaper, and
- store those in a small container in the freezer until your service day.
Like preventing odors, unwanted pests should not be an issue if your bin is properly maintained. Keeping the bin closed and secured with the latch will help prevent attracting flies or bugs. If the bin is kept outside, it can prevent rodents and other critters from accessing your food scraps.
Using the fridge or freezer method (mentioned in the answer above) with meat, dairy, or seafood scraps can be an extra precaution for avoiding attracting pests to your bin.
If you will be away for longer than three weeks, please notify the Garbage to Garden customer care team by calling 617-977-4547 so that your account is not marked as inactive. You can also log into your account to "Request a Temporary Service Suspension" and enter the dates you will be away.
As there are a limited number of spaces available in this program, we want to make sure those who have signed are making use of this service.
What You Can Put in Your Green BinAccepted Items
- All food items
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Non-synthetic tea bags
- Eggs, eggshells, and egg cartons
- Grains, pasta, and bread
- Wax and parchment paper
- Fruits and vegetables (remove stickers)
- Cookies, cake, and candy
- Yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and butter
- Cooking oil and grease (collect in a separate plastic container)
- Meat and Seafood (including raw)
- Bones and shells
- Compostable service ware
- Stove, grill, and fireplace ash (please tie off bag)
- Houseplants and flowers
- Pet food
- Nut and coconut shells
- Hair, fur, and feathers
- Pet bedding (no cat or dog waste)
- We accept the following soiled items. Please no chemical or cleaner soil.
- Napkins and paper towels
- Compostable service ware
- Tissues (no bodily fluids)
- Newspaper (for wrapping food, recycle otherwise)
- Brown paper bags (for lining bins)
- Cardboard pizza boxes (stacked under your curbside bin)
- Plastic: cups, containers, food and candy wrappers, plastic wrap, etc.
- Plastic bags: shopping bags, produce bags, garbage bags, chip bags, etc.
- Cartons: milk, juice, ice cream, broth, and soup containers
- Take out containers and cups (unless BPI, CMA, or OK Compost certified compostable)
- Grass clippings (use our leaf and yard waste pickup service instead)
- Used compostable diapers
- Laundry lint or dryer sheets
- Mail, shiny paper, and magazines
- Plastic and waxed cardboard
- Shredded paper
- Chemically soiled materials
- Dog or cat waste
- Rubber bands, twist ties, and staples
- Produce stickers
- Meal box insulation
- Packing peanuts
- Dead animals
Help the City of Boston get the word out about our new Curbside Food Waste Collection program.
Help canvas Boston neighborhoods to inform your community about Curbside Food Waste Collection. Fill out this form if you are interested in volunteering, and our partners at Garbage to Garden will reach out and tell you how you can help!