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Municipal Composting Facilities

​Composting, nature's original recycling system, is a cost-effective means of handling organic waste and an essential part of any successful solid waste management plan. It can greatly reduce landfill costs and create a valuable, organic product in the process. High-quality compost is an essential ingredient in any turf care program, and a valuable tool for all forms of horticulture, from tree-planting to maintenance of flower and ornamental beds.

Helping nature to make compost is not difficult. Gather the right materials in the right proportions, keep out contaminating matter (sticks, gravel, debris, animal waste), provide oxygen to aid in decomposition, and when it's done, return the compost to the soil. If your town is using the compost as topdressing for turf applications, consider having the compost tested to make certain it is finished.

Composting Pile

John Winfield [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In 2013, the Ulster County (NY) Resource Recovery Agency has embarked on a new composting initiative to increase its recycling rate and divert valuable organic material from landfill disposal.

The Las Virgenes Municipal Water District has a very successful Community Compost Bulk Loading Program.


The US Composting Council is a trade and professional organization which promotes and provides information and resources for the growing composting industry.

The EPA has issued a report on the Life Cycle Inventory and Cost Model for Mixed Municipal and Yard Waste Composting.


The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services produced this comprehensive fact sheet on Municipal Composting of Yard Waste.

The Natural Resources, Agriculture and Engineering Service published a book called Composting for Municipalities: Planning and Design Considerations. It is available for free download from the Cornell University website. 


[1] Cornell Waste Management Institute. (2018). Compost and Composting.

[2] Ndegwa, P. M., & Thompson, S. A. (2001). Integrating composting and vermicomposting in the treatment and bioconversion of biosolids. Bioresource Technology, 76(2), 107-112.

[3] Evanylo, G. K., et al. (2015). Compost Practices for Improving Soil Properties and Turfgrass Establishment and Quality on a Disturbed Urban Soil. Compost Science & Utilization, 24(2), 136-145.

[4] Tognetti, C., et al. (2007). Improving the quality of municipal organic waste compost. Bioresource Technology, 98(5), 1067-1076. 

[5] The California Integrated Waste Management Board. (2003). The Importance of Compost Maturity (Rep. No. 443-03-007). Sacramento, CA: CIWMB, 1-2.

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