Composting

See below for more information on purchasing “New-Age compost bins” directly from Medford DPW, for immediate pickup.

UPDATE: Medford Exploring Residential Curbside Composting Program

City seeking proposals for Residential Curbside Organics Collection Service. RFPs available at www.medfordma.org.

Residents are invited to submit feedback on a potential composting program via online survey.

The City of Medford is exploring the option of offering a residential curbside composting program, beginning in Spring 2021. Through a Request for Proposals released on March 1, the City is seeking proposals from companies that offer subscription organics collection to Medford residents. The City is also seeking feedback from Medford residents about interest in a curbside composting program, as well as feedback from residents who currently utilize a private service. Residents are invited to take a survey at https://tinyurl.com/medford-compost, or by contacting the Office of Community Development at ocd@medford-ma.gov or 781-393-2480. Proposals from potential vendors are due to the City’s Purchasing Department on March 22, 2021.

Composting is a process of recycling organic matter, like leaves and food scraps, creating a rich dirt mixture, frequently used by gardeners. Composting can involve putting these materials in a separate container to naturally break down, to be picked up on a regular basis by a contracted company. This process can reduce the amount of material deposited in the City’s trash stream.

“This is an exciting possibility for the City of Medford, and one that I know many residents have been asking about. I am really looking forward to seeing the proposals we receive and hopefully being able to implement the program this spring,” said Mayor Lungo-Koehn. “On a personal level, I hope that my family and I can finally begin to compost at our own home.”

“Curbside collecting of compostable materials is a great option for many Medford residents, particularly for those who are trying to be a ‘Zero-Waste Household’ as you can include many things that would not be appropriate in backyard composting,” said Alicia Hunt, Acting Director of the City’s Offices of Community Development and Energy & Environment. “I’m looking forward to being able to recommend a company to the Medford community for this service!”

If a vendor is selected following the RFP process, the City will not directly fund the program but will connect interested residents with the selected vendor for private curbside composting pickup, at a pre-determined cost. The City is seeking a contractor to provide a weekly subscription service for all households, including multi-family residences.

To take our survey, visit https://tinyurl.com/medford-compost.

For more information on composting, visit our Frequently Asked Questions at https://tinyurl.com/medford-compostFAQ, or contact the Office of Community Development at ocd@medford-ma.gov or 781-393-2480.

Municipal Composting

The City has received many inquiries about the possibility of a compost collection program in Medford. With municipal compost programs growing in the region and many companies offering this service, we partnered with the Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Program to have Tufts graduate students research this for the city.

They did a very in-depth study of the social, environmental, financial and practical issues related to municipal scale composting in this region. While composting at a municipal level is not uncommon in some parts of the country, we’ve found that several of the municipalities in the area that have implemented pilot programs have decided to not move forward in municipal-wide composting. Therefore, we wanted to understand the barriers and difficulties of various program models before jumping right into a program.

Their full report is 150 pages, and is available for download here. The Executive Summary, available as a separate file here, provides all of the key findings and recommendations from their research.

Home Composting

New England Plastics Corp.

Available year-round from Medford’s DPW, you can pay for the compost bin in the DPW Office in City Hall, room 304, during City Hall hours. Then, you pick up the compost bin from our City Yard location at 21 James St (details provided when you pay for the bin at City Hall).

These compost bins are highly recommended by the State Department of Environmental Protection.

New-Age Compost bins available from Medford DPW year round, for $59

Home Composting FAQ

Can I purchase a compost bin immediately?

Yes. We have New Age Compost Bins available immediately.  Please make out check to “The City of Medford” in the amount of $59 and bring it to Medford DPW in City Hall during business hours.  They keep these compost bins in stock.

How is ordering through the Office of Energy and Environment different from purchasing through DPW?

Some years The Office of Energy & Environment does a batch order of compost bins, when there is a good option to bring the community and to help raise awareness. At this time we are recommending the bins available through DPW.

How do I compost?

The MA Department of Environmental Protection has a lot of great information about getting started composting, on their site.

Can I make my own compost bin?

We have information about making your own compost bin here.

I have other questions, can I call or email someone?

You can email the Office of Energy & Environment at enviro@medford-ma.gov or call us at 781-393-2137

Here is a video of the Energy & Environment Director’s children showing how easy it is to compost that they made many years ago: