You'll probably only feel weird bringing garbage to the farmers' market that first time

The mayor's office today announced pilot composting programs in which residents can bring certain types of food scraps and other organic matter to a local farmers' market for, well, composting.

For the three-month duration of this program, full-service waste hauler Renewable Waste Solutions will donate supplies and hauling services for transport to Rocky Hill Farm in Saugus, Massachusetts, where the collected scraps will be transformed into fertile soil for use in commercial and personal farming and gardening projects.

The pilot, similar to existing programs in New York and Cambridge, will be run at:

Harvard-Allston, 168 Western Ave., Allston; Fridays between 3 p.m. and 7 pm. through Oct 25.
Egleston Square, 45 Brookside Ave., Jamaica Plain; Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. through Oct. 26.

Bowdoin-Geneva, 230 Bowdoin St., Dorchester; Thursdays between 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. from Aug. 15 through Oct. 31.

Eligible stuff: Fruits and vegetables; non-greasy food scraps (e.g., rice, pasta, bread and cereal); coffee grounds and filters; tea bags; egg shells, nutshells and pits; cut and dried flowers; house plants and potted soil.

Don't even think of it stuff: Anything greasy or oily, anything made of meat, chicken, fish or dairy (except for egg shells), animal waste and litter, bedding and clothing, charcoal, coal, infested plants and soil.



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    I'd love to participate in a city-run composting program. I've tried composting on my own, but because of the intractable rat infestation in Allston (among other parts of Our Fair City) the results weren't pretty. However, in order to take part in this trial, not only would I have to bring my (week-old) garbage to the farmer's market, I'd have to pick it up after I get home from work and take it on the bus to get there.

    NYC has been doing this for a

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    NYC has been doing this for a long time, it's a great idea! My friends and I would put our stuff in the freezer to "keep" it until we could make our weekly trip to the market for composting. Perhaps try that? :)

    What's that odor?

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    At least you'd be more likely to get your own seat on the bus.

    The usual solution is to

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    The usual solution is to store the compost in your 'fridge or freezer. You could tote it about in a cooler, I guess.

    Montreal has curbside composting, which is awesome.

    Compost tumbler

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    I tried composting for a while with one of the plastic bins that the city sells. Yeah, it didn't work for me either. After a while it was basically just a giant rat buffet. Then my wife became obsessed with compost (I know, I know - what can I say, she's weird but I love her) and demanded that I get her a compost tumbler. I researched them and deemed them too expensive, so I built one which has worked perfectly for many years. No rats. The manufactured ones have come down a lot in price since then, so you might look into one if you have the room. I was somewhat surprised to see that the city still sells those plastic bins, and touts them as being very good against rodents IF you bury your scraps in lots of leaves so that they don't smell. I am still kinda skeptical.


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    3-7 on Fridays?

    "No problem...I'll just throw a bag of rotting refuse in my car before I leave for work in the morning on Friday and drop it off on my way home", said nobody ever.


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    Braintree has a compost process that is pretty great. You can bring your leaves and yard waste which is turned into compost and when it is ready, they share it. It's simple, but it works. It does require one attendant who ensures that you have a resident sticker and that you are depositing allowable items.

    City compost

    Don't forget Christmas tree collection - those chipped trees go into the composting mix as well.

    The city donates compost to community garden groups - my parents had a plot at an Allston community garden back in 2005 or so, and they received a huge load of nice compost from the city.