Watertown Municipal Compost Collection

The City of Watertown, in partnership with Black Earth Compost, provides free weekly curbside collection of food scraps and other organic materials. Please view the complete compostable guide for more details on everything that can be collected in your compost bin. As part of the program, you will receive a starter kit and online account to manage your service. The starter kit includes a 13-gallon wheeled tote with a locking lid to place on the curb for pickup and a roll of compostable bin liners.

Eligibility: This program is only open for residents in buildings with fewer than 8 units that have city-provided trash and recycling pickup. If you have questions about eligibility, please email: recycle@watertown-ma.gov

If you are not eligible for curbside collection, Watertown provides free drop-off collection of food scraps at its Recycling Center. That option is open to all Watertown residents.

Eligible residents sign up now to start compost collection.

Why Participate in Food Scrap Collection
30% of household waste is compostable. This includes all food scraps, soiled paper products, and certified compostable serviceware. In your curbside bucket, you are able to compost more than you can in a backyard system, including meat, dairy, bones, and certified compostable serviceware, because the material is taken to one of our industrial compost facilities. By diverting these scraps from the landfill where they would generate methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, or be incinerated, they are instead turned into nutrient-rich compost that is used to improve soil and plant health on local farms and backyard gardens while also drawing down carbon from the atmosphere.

What's Compostable
View (or download and print) the detailed list of acceptable items. Read more about what's compostable on the What's Compostable page. We do not accept yard waste or grass clippings in your green bin.

Line Your Bin
It is required to line your bin. This helps keep your bin clean and dry which prevents the scraps from freezing to the bin in the winter and sticking to the bin in summer. You can use certified compostable liners for either the bin or your countertop container. You can also use brown paper bags when the temperature is consistently above freezing. Your starter kit will include 15 compostable bin liners. When you run out, you can purchase more liners through your online account and they will be delivered on your next scheduled pick-up.

Place Your Bin On the Curb
Please have your bin on the curb in a visible location by 6 am or put it out the night before. Bins left on a porch or next to a garage will not be collected. Food scraps placed in a bin other than the green bin will not be collected. Your collection will occur weekly on your normal trash day.

Use Your Online Account to:

  • View your personal and Watertown's food scrap diversion statistics
  • Order more bin liners, which will be delivered on your next service day
  • Report a missed pick-up
  • Enter a service skip if you will be away and will not be putting your bin out
  • Cancel service
  • Tips on composting
  • And much more...

Finished Compost

Receive finished compost to nourish your soil and plants in your garden, pots, or lawn in the spring from the City of Watertown. Details will be emailed next spring on how to access the compost. Compost will be in bulk, not bags. Additional compost and soil is available for purchase through the compost store on our website.

Sign up