PUMPKINS and YARD WASTE: We see the largest volumes of food waste of the entire year the week following Thanksgiving.  Please do not put out pumpkins or yard waste the week following Thanksgiving, as we do not have space in the trucks. Put them out before or hold off until the following week. We accept one pumpkin per pick up placed on top of your bin.

Colder Temps:  Below freezing temps are here, which means your compost can freeze to your bin and be unable to empty.  You can prevent this by using certified compostable bioplastic bin liners, available for purchase in the online shop.  Paper bag liners will freeze to the bin. 

Watertown Municipal Compost Collection

Watertown has met it's first year goal of enrolling residents in city sponsored curbside compositing. We are currently preregistering additional households to start when more funding becomes available. Select preregister below to create an account and you will be notified via email when you can enroll.

Reaching this goal already is an incredible achievement and shows how much interest there is in composting and keeping food scraps out of the waste stream. Watertown does not currently have a set timeline for program expansion, but they hope to provide more information as soon as possible. Thank you for your interest in composting and make sure to keep spreading the word about the program!

This program is only open for residents in buildings that contain 4 units or less and have city-provided trash and recycling pickup. If you have questions about eligibility, please email: recycle@watertown-ma.gov

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 locking lid to place on the curb for pickup and two rolls of compostable bin liners, one for the curbside bin and one for a countertop kitchen bin.

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 Compost Guide and FAQ page. We do not accept yard waste or grass clippings in your green bin.

Line Your Bin

It is required to line your bin or countertop container. This helps keep your bin clean and dry which prevents the scraps from freezing to the bin in winter and sticking to the bin in summer. You can use a brown paper bag or certified compostable liners. Your starter kit includes compostable 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. You are not required to line both the curbside and a kitchen countertop bin.

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 day may not align with your trash day to start, but will transition to your trash day once enough people have enrolled in the program.  

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.