Food Waste Compost
The City of Northampton encourages residents to compost household food and paper waste and provides resources to make it easy, including a free drop-off program at the Locust Street Transfer Station and the opportunity to purchase composter units and equipment at wholesale prices.
Composting is a powerful method to reduce household waste. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps accounted for 14% of the 250 million tons of waste Americans produced in 2010. Yard trimmings account for 13%. Adding the estimated 6% of paper that is not recyclable, 33% of our municipal waste stream is compostable. Composting creates jobs, and produces a natural, nutrient-rich soil enhancer while conserving landfill space and reducing the amount of climate-changing gases generated in landfills.
Because composting has so many environmental benefits, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Department of Environmental Protection has banned leaf and yard waste from household trash and implemented a commercial food waste ban for organizations producing more than one ton of food waste per week.
Residential Composting Options
- The Locust Street Transfer Station offers a drop-off location for food scrap and non-recyclable paper waste (PDF). The service is free of charge to everyone with a valid transfer station permit. The material is processed locally, and turns into a rich, natural soil amendment.
- Some residential waste haulers offer curbside compost collection.
- For those interested in home or backyard composting, we offer two varieties of compost bins, and countertop compost containers at wholesale prices (see list at right).
Business and Industry Composting
A statewide food waste ban affects organizations and industries producing one ton or more of food scraps per week.
Recycling Works is a Commonwealth of Massachusetts-funded assistance program that helps businesses and institutions maximize recycling, reuse, and composting opportunities. They offer a Find a Recycler database to locate processors and haulers, and a hotline to speak to in-house experts. Visit their website, call (888) 254-5525. or email for more information.