Reduce Your Contribution to the Landfill by Composting

In the landfill, compostable trash generates carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas 86 times more damaging than CO2 in its first 20 years in the atmosphere. By composting, the average American consumer can keep the equivalent of 354+ pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere each year.

The figures multiply when you compost in a larger setting, like a school, workplace, or house of worship. For example, from January to December of 2018, Brookline High students diverted 33 tons of food waste from their trash. This is the equivalent of preventing 29 metric tons of CO2 emissions, or taking 6.2 cars off the road for a year.

Take Action!

Residential Composting

  • If you have a yard: Build your own composting bin, or buy an Earth Machine from the Brookline DPW for $43. The Brookline DPW webpage on composting can tell you more about what and how to compost.
  • If you have a little outdoor space: Search the web for “tumbler composter” to find a product that meets your needs. The larger, the better - larger piles decompose faster.
  • If you have a basement: Consider composting with worms. Search the Internet for “worm composter” to find products.
  • If you have no outdoor space, and your budget is tight: Drop it off at the Brookline Teen Center for free, or, from May 7th to October, at the Brookline transfer station at 815 Newton Street. They will take food waste for free on the same day and times that the Hazardous Waste Collection program is in operation (Tuesdays, 7:30 am - noon).
  • If you have no outdoor space, and can afford to pay $4-7/week for a weekly or biweekly pickup, contact a service such as Black Earth, Bootstrap Compost, or City Compost.

If you reduce your garbage so much that you want to swap out your trash can for the next smaller size, your waste disposal fees will go down by about $60/year.



Large-Scale Composting

Talk to your peers at your school, workplace, or house of worship. Research providers, such as Black Earth, Bootstrap Compost, City Compost, and Save That Stuff. Present to decision-makers. Rarely does it make sense for a large organization to compost on-site.

If composting in your organization is facilitated by volunteers, it may not add much to your bottom line. At Brookline High School, the cost of composting 33 tons of food waste last year was $6,000 - but it saved the Department of Public Works $2,280 on trash collection. So the cost of composting bumped up the bottom line by $3,720 - not bad for 33 tons of food waste!


If you have questions about composting, please email us at [email protected]. We’ll be happy to help.

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