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Year one enrollment, which began service in August 2022, filled up within a matter of weeks. Due to the popularity of this program, and the long waitlist, the City of Boston decided to add 10K spots in fall 2023 in addition to the 10K added in Summer 2023. If you have signed up for the waitlist, you will be notified when your curbside service will begin.
Starter kits will be delivered to new participants on your first service day. You do not need to request one. If you live in a multi-unit, each apartment is entitled to receive a starter kit if they sign up. The starter kit includes a kitchen container, a roll of compostable liners, a curbside bin, and educational materials to help both new composters and seasoned pros make a plan about how they will be collecting food scraps.
The 12-gallon curbside bin is approximately 18”L x 16”W x 27"H. We recommend using a 23-gallon certified compostable liner for this size. The kitchen container holds 1.85 gallons, and measures approximately 9”L x 13”W x9”H. We recommend using a 3-gallon certified compostable liner for this size. If you are concerned about the curbside bin being too large, we do now have a smaller 5-gallon bucket available by request only. Please contact our Customer Service team to inquire about this option.
These items can be put in your curbside food waste bin. If it grows, it goes!
  • All food items
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Non synthetic tea bags
  • Eggs and eggshells
  • Grains, pasta, and bread
  • Fruits and vegetables (remove stickers)
  • Cookies, cake, and candy
  • Yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and butter
  • Meat and Seafood (including raw)
  • Bones and shells
  • Food soiled napkins and paper towels
  • Stove, grill, and fireplace ash (please tie off bag)
  • Houseplants and flowers
  • Pet food
  • Nut and coconut shells
  • Hair, fur, and feathers
  • Pet bedding (no cat or dog waste)
  • Brown paper bags (for lining bins)
Don’t put these items into your curbside food waste bin. Contaminated bins will not be collected.
  • Plastic: Cups, containers, food and candy wrappers, plastic wrap, etc.
  • Plastic Bags: shopping bags, garbage bags, produce bags, chip bags, etc.
  • Cartons: milk, juice, ice cream, broth, and soup containers
  • Take out containers and cups (unless certified compostable)
  • Grass Clippings (use our leaf and yard waste pickup service instead)
  • Christmas trees and wreaths (use our Christmas tree collection instead)
  • Used compostable diapers
  • Laundry lint or dryer sheets
  • Mail, shiny paper, and magazines
  • Plastic and waxed cardboard
  • Shredded paper
  • Textiles
  • Chemically soiled materials
  • Dog or cat waste
  • Rubber bands, twist ties, and staples
  • Produce stickers
  • Meal box insulation
  • Packing peanuts
  • Pizza boxes - place in your blue bin instead!
Composting at a commercial/industrial scale is much different than composting in your backyard. It is true that you should not add animal products, large quantities of food-soiled paper, and other items on our list of acceptable items to your backyard compost pile, but at this scale it is possible to include these products and they will break down properly through the composting process. The high temperatures reached in thermophilic composting mitigate the risk of pathogens and disease resulting from the inclusion of these items.
We will accept brown paper bags or certified compostable bags –look for the BPI, CMA or OK Compost certified compostable logos. You may NOT use plastic bags as liners. Once enrolled, you can order liners through your MyAccount log in.
Yes, we ask that all residents use liners. This makes collection much easier for the drivers and helps keep your collection bins clean. You can choose to line either your kitchen container, or curbside bin. You do not need to line both. You may use brown paper bags or certified compostable liners, which can be purchased through your account login.
Your collection day will align with your weekly trash day, and we ask that your bin be placed curbside before 6am (or the night before) to ensure collection. For residents with two weekly trash collection days, we will collect on one of those two days (for most residents it will be the first of the two collection days). Once you have created your account log in, you can verify your collection day there.
When there are holiday changes to our collection schedule, we will send an email notification in advance of the upcoming holiday. We will also post reminders to our social media pages, your account login, and on this website's home page.

There is no collection on legal or observed holidays recognized by the City of Boston. In the case of a Monday holiday, or one observed on Monday, all routes will be delayed by one day throughout the week. This may not align with your trash and recycling collection schedule, so please make sure to review schedule email alerts carefully.

• New Year's Day: No collection Monday 1/1. Mon-Fri service delayed by 1 day throughout the week.
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: No collection Monday 1/15. Mon-Fri service delayed by 1 day throughout the week.
• Presidents Day: No collection Monday 2/19. Mon-Fri service delayed by 1 day throughout the week.
• Patriots Day: No collection Monday 4/15. Mon-Fri service delayed by 1 day throughout the week.
• Memorial Day: No collection Monday 5/27. Mon-Fri service delayed by 1 day throughout the week.
• Juneteenth: No collection Wednesday 6/19. Wed-Fri service delayed by 1 day throughout the week.
• July 4th: No collection Thursday 7/4. Thursday & Friday service both delayed by 1 day.
• Labor Day: No collection Monday 9/2. Mon-Fri service delayed by 1 day throughout the week.
• Indigenous Peoples' Day: No collection Monday 10/14. Mon-Fri service delayed by 1 day throughout the week.
• Veterans Day: No collection Monday 11/11. Mon-Fri service delayed by 1 day throughout the week.
• Thanksgiving: No collection Thursday 11/28. Thursday & Friday service both delayed by 1 day.
• Christmas Day: No collection Wednesday 12/25. Service Wednesday through Friday delayed by 1 day.

If you need a bin replacement, please submit a bin replacement request through your account, or email New bins will be delivered on your following service day.
Garbage to Garden and Save That Stuff have teamed up to provide curbside food waste collection for the City of Boston. Since being awarded the contract, we have formed a single joint venture, designed and built a new fleet of custom-designed collection trucks, and brought together a great team to provide a top-notch food waste collection service for the City. Learn more on our Partners page.
Food waste collected by this program will be processed at one of two facilities. The composting facility located in Brockton, owned by Save That Stuff, uses an open air turned windrow composting process to turn your food scraps into a nutrient rich compost. Food waste brought to the CORe in Charlestown is recycled by anaerobic digestion to create renewable energy. Learn more about the processing methods here.
The City of Boston and our compost partners are closely monitoring the evolving situation with the forever chemicals PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). Both of our processing sites test for these substances and are meeting state and federal guidelines. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has approved our program and is working closely with us on any new developments. We understand that there are concerns around this topic, please reach out to our customer service team at Garbage to Garden with any questions at
We do not accept woody yard waste because these items are unlikely to break down in the composting process or the anaerobic digestion process. Please keep yard waste separate from your food waste at this time. For more information on Boston yard waste collection, please visit
While compost is not yet available for purchase, we hope to make this available in year three of the program.
Both the 12-gallon curbside bin and countertop bin include a latching lid that seals in odors, and the use of compostable liners help keep the bin clean week to week. The liners also allow for easy removal of food waste on collection day, easy wipe-downs of the container for maintenance, and help prevent spills from any liquids when tied shut. For particularly smelly food items (like meat scraps, seafood shells, or expired dairy), it can be helpful to store those in a small container in the freezer until your service day.
Like preventing odors, unwanted pests should not be an issue if your bin is properly maintained. Keeping the bin closed and secured with the latch will help prevent attracting flies or bugs, and if the bin is kept outside, can prevent rodents and other critters from accessing your food scraps. Using the fridge/freezer method (mentioned in the answer above) with meat, dairy, or seafood scraps can be an extra precaution for avoiding attracting pests to your bin.
The 10,000 spots available for year one filled up within a couple weeks. 10,000 additional spots were filled in summer 2023, and we will be adding 10,000 more for fall 2023. Residents on the waitlist will be enrolled automatically in the next enrollment period for service, and may be able to participate in the program sooner as spaces open up. You will be notified when you are moved from the waitlist to an active participant.
Each apartment or unit should sign up separately in order to receive their own starter kit. If you do decide to share a bin, we do ask that each participating unit keep an active account so that you can receive alerts and program updates, purchase liners if needed, and so that we can provide accurate reporting to the City of Boston as to how many are participating in this program.
Service for larger multi-family buildings can be arranged through a private contract with your building manager. Landlords and building managers should contact us for a quote and to set up this service.
If you will be away for longer than 3 weeks, please notify the Garbage to Garden customer care team by calling (617) 977-4547 so that your account is not marked as inactive. You can also log into your account to ‘Request a Temporary Service Suspension’ and enter the dates you will be away. As there are a limited number of spaces available in this program, we want to make sure those who have signed up are making use of this service.
If you no longer want to participate, we ask that you suspend your service so your spot can be offered to another resident. If you are moving, please notify us so that your position can be offered to the next resident. If you are moving within Boston to an eligible address, you can transfer service to your new residence.
As detailed in a May 2023 newsletter, we have made some adjustments to our accepted items. Pizza boxes are now accepted in single stream recycling, so we are asking Boston residents to place these in your blue recycling bin instead. Thank you!
Our Customer Service team would be happy to help you sign up for this program. Contact us at or call us at 617-977-4547 for assistance. If you have previously signed up with the same email, you will not be able to create a new account. Contact us to check on the status of your sign up.
Our website does require an email address at sign up. If you do not have one, please call Customer Service for sign up assistance at 617-977-4547. Please note, email is our primary method of communication for account updates (start date, bin delivery), as well as service alerts and holiday delays. Residents without email addresses will need to refer to our website or Boston's Trash Day app for schedule changes.