Composting food scraps

Why should I compost food scraps?

Food waste is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills. When food waste breaks down, it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Municipal landfills are the third largest source of methane in the United States. Composting is a natural process of decomposition that breaks down food scraps into a valuable fertilizer while sharply reducing methane emissions from landfills. Compost is called "black gold" and can be used in your yard to replace chemical fertilizers. It helps your soil retain moisture and nutrients reduces the potential for soil erosion, and sequesters carbon in the soil. 

How do I get started with backyard composting?

The microorganisms that break down your food scraps require carbon and nitrogen to work to convert food waste into compost. For your backyard composting, make sure you have a balance of

  • Nitrogen-rich or "Green" material (this includes materials like food and vegetable scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds, and eggshells). 
  • Carbon-rich or "Brown" material (this includes materials like dry leaves, plant stalks and twigs, shredded brown bags and paper, shredded cardboard, and untreated wood chips).
  • Do NOT throw in meat, fish, bones, cheese, pet waste or grease into your backyard composter.

For more information on how to start your own backyard compost pile, visit Composting 101.  

If you don't have the time to start your own compost pile, you can collect ALL of your food scraps (including meat, fish, and bones) and drop them off at Cedar Lane Park, 7 days a week (Ossining Composts).