ECDRR does not offer any county wide composting programs. Check with your local municipality about composting in your neighborhood. Some municipalities operate their own drop-off and/or pick-up services separate from the ECDRR and are limited to residents of the operating municipality.

Household Composting

Starting to compost at home is a much simpler task than it sounds. There are many benefits to composting some of which include: overall waste reduction, landfill waste diversion, and soil enrichment. Listed below are simplified steps to household composting.

1. Chose a location in your yard

  • The ideal spots are dry, shaded, and close to a water source
  • Ideally you would have two compost piles - to alternate usage 

2. Create boxes, bins, or piles

  • You can purchase compost bin/box from most local hardware stores, you can build your own - it simply needs to be accessible, or you can make a pile

Compost BinCompost BoxCompost Pile

3. Understand acceptable and unacceptable food wastes

  • Keeping unacceptable food wastes out of the compost pile will not only lessen the smell, but also help limit the attraction of unwanted pests/scavengers.

Acceptable Food Wastes


  • Scraps
  • Peels/clippings
  • Rotted


  • Scraps
  • Peels/clippings
  • Rotted

Eggs Shells 

Coffee Grounds

Tea Leaves 

Unacceptable Food Wastes

Highly processed foods

  • Breads
  • Pastas
  • Cereals
  • Baked goods

Dairy products

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Raw/Cooked Eggs
  • Cheese

Meat Products

  • All meats
  • Animal bones or broths


4. Add waste materials

  • Follow the browns to greens ratio of 5-10:1 (example.5-10 cm browns layer to 1 cm greens layer).  This is not an exact science and trial and error will help find the best ratio for your compost.   
    • Browns = Leaves, branches, twigs, and etc. These materials are high in Nitrogen. 
    • Greens = Vegetable clippings, food scraps, grass clippings, and etc. These materials are high in Carbon. 
  • Ensure small and varied particle size of both browns and greens
    • All materials should be chopped into smaller pieces and should vary in size, this will ensure quicker and more even breakdown of materials

5. Water and turn (processing)

  • Add water when adding a larger quantity of materials
  • Turn using a shovel or pitch fork, this helps distribute water and materials evenly
    • To help limit the smell be sure to bury food scrapes under other materials – 10 inches is recommended

6. “Set” period

  • Still process at desired frequency but do not add new waste materials
    • Ensures even and thorough decomposition

7. Utilize the final product (compost) and start the process over

  • Compost is generally used as a soil enhancer for vegetable or flower gardens

Additional Information 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection - Turn Your Spoils into Soil

Cornell Cooperative Extension Publication: 4-H Leader’s/Teacher’s Guide, Composting: Wastes to Resources

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy - Home Composting: Reap a Heap of Benefits

Michigan State University Extension - Composting: A Smart Gardening Practice to Recycle Garden and Yard Waste

Pennsylvania State University Extension - Home Composting: A Guide for Home Gardeners

United States Environmental Protection Agency - Sustainable Management of Food