Forty-one percent (41%) of residential trash in Natick is food waste. This wasted food can be turned into compost, which costs less than incineration and has additional benefit of creating valuable soil nutrients and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. To capture this valuable resource and prevent it from being incinerated, the Town offers residents with incentives to encourage composting:
- At a pilot drop off location
- In their backyards
The Town of Natick encourages residents to compost their food waste. Residents that pay a private hauler for weekly curbside composting services are eligible to receive a free starter kit, including a green curbside composting bin and kitchen counter top container. As of February 2020, more than 850 households and small businesses had subscribed with Black Earth Compost. The Town also sells compostable bags at cost through Pay-As-You-Throw vendors.
To learn more about how curbside composting works, check out our video for more information.
Drop Off Centers
The Town plans to launch a small drop-off pilot program later this year with approximately 100 residents at four locations across town. We are in the process of finalizing these locations, but will seek to locate them in different areas of the community to provide convenient and equitable access to all residents (e.g, at the Cole Center, Ben Hem, Community Senior Center). The containers will be in metal "bear proof" enclosures, collected twice a week and will be accessible by key only to drop off members. All items that are currently accepted through the Towns' curbside pilot will be acceptable through the new drop off program.
As part of the drop off pilot, participants will be asked to pay a small annual fee and will receive one sealable, five-gallon bucket, a kitchen container and a key to the drop off site. Bags will not be provided - or required, but participants will be welcome to purchase them at cost at the DPW and participating local grocery stores.
Backyard composting is a simple way to produce fertilizer for your lawn and garden, while dramatically reducing your weekly household waste. The Town of Natick sells home composting bins at a discount. They are lightweight, easy to assemble, and rodent proof. Each comes with composting instructions. They are made of 100% recycled detergent bottles and hold one cubic yard of material. They are available for $25.00 at the Department of Public Works at 75 West Street during normal business hours.
A compost pile can include organic materials such as table scraps, vegetable trimmings, coffee grounds, egg shells, and fruit rinds, as well as lawn clippings and leaves. These all break down to form earthy-smelling soil enrichment. Avoid composting meat, bones, fatty foods such as cheese, grease or cooking oil, dog feces, cat litter, or diseased plants; put these in the trash instead.