How to get a bin
To make it easier to compost kitchen scraps and yard waste, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) makes home composting bins available to Massachusetts' cities and towns each year as part of DEP's recycling equipment grant program. The bins, which retail for $70-120, are available to residents of grantee communities for $25-$40. Some towns have one style (see below), others have both. To obtain a compost bin, visit or call the following contacts:
Abington BOH, 500 Gliniewicz Way 781-982-2119
Duxbury Transfer Station* 781-934-0255
Kingston Highway Dept., 32 Evergreen St. 781-585-0513
Norwell Recycling Center* 781-659-8016
Plymouth Transfer Stations and DPW 508-830-4166
Rockland Recycling Center* 781-871-0154, x350
Weymouth DPW, 120 Winter St. 781-337-5100
* residents only
If your community is not listed, try a neighboring one.
Bins come in two styles
To make it easier to compost kitchen scraps and yard waste, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) makes home composting bins available to cities and towns each year through its recycling equipment grant program. The bins, which retail for between $70 and $120, are available to the residents of communities that receive grants for a subsidized price of about $30 each. To obtain a compost bin, see the list of MassDEP compost bin grant recipients and call the contact person listed for your community or a neighboring one.
Two styles of compost bins are available through MassDEP's grant program: Earth Machine and New Age Composter (formerly Brave New Composter). Both types are easy to assemble, rodent-resistent, and allow for efficient, aerobic composting. They are made from a minimum of 50 percent post-consumer recycled plastic collected or processed in Massachusetts. An average household can compost between 500 and 1,000 pounds of organic material each year in the bins, producing a rich soil supplement out of material that would otherwise be disposed.
Brief history of home compost program
DEP's compost bin grant program began with a pilot program in western Massachusetts in FY 1993, where 5,300 bins were distributed. A follow-up survey revealed that 92% of the bins were in use one year later, and that people are putting out an average of 27% less garbage for disposal since they started using their compost bins. In 1994-2000, 230 communities participated in the statewide compost bin grant program, through which nearly 70,000 bins have been distributed. Many of these programs still have bins available. Under the state's grant program, municipalities use revenue from bin sales to purchase additional bins. After the granted bins have been distributed, communities may continue to order bins under DEP's statewide contract for $25-$43 (depending on bin type).
For further information on home composting or the bin grant program, go to Mass. DEP's website or contact Ann McGovern, DEP Waste Reduction Program, at (617) 292-5834.
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