Bolton Composting

**Quick Reminder: If you'd like access to curbside compost pick up, please pre-register for this service.**


Last summer, Bolton Local ran a survey in order to gauge interest in the potential for commercial composting options for Bolton. Of the 230 responses received:

  • 23% preferred curbside pickup of compost

  • 33% preferred transfer station collection bins for compost

  • 19% were interested in either option

  • 24% were not interested in either service (many of these households were already composting in their backyard*)

The majority of those polled preferred a communal collection bin at the transfer station. To get that program running will take some time and requires town approval.

If households are interested in establishing curbside compost collection service, please contract directly through Black Earth LLC, as one would for any other household service. The cost would be $20.99 for a month-to-month subscription or $114.99 for a 6-month subscription (~$19 / month). If 250 households eventually enroll, the price will drop for everyone.

97 households in Bolton are needed to pre-register before a route can begin; as of December 2021, there were less than 20 Bolton registrations, but given the survey results, Bolton Local feels this number can be achieved. There is NO COMMITMENT to pre registering (no financial information is asked for - just a name, address for service, and contact information); payment would not be due until a route is established and service commences.

To learn more about Black Earth’s collection system or to register curbside compost pick up, visit their website: Upon registration, there is no financial commitment and they do not ask for any billing information.

*It’s important to note that commercial composting significantly increases the type of items that can be safely composted (and thus removed from the household waste stream); instead of just vegetable scraps and yard waste that are able to composted in backyard compost piles, items like compostable bowls and plates, bones, grease and oils, and meat scraps can be safely turned into useable compost via commercial composting. Commercial composting generates a larger, hotter pile, which kills pathogens; these huge piles are turned by large machines and triple screened before being bagged and returned to user’s gardens. See the link above for more information.

Bolton Local, our town sustainability group, is investigating the possibility of some new composting programs for Bolton residents. We are working with Randy Heglin, the Director of the Department of Public Works, on this. We have also talked to Don Lowe, the Town Administrator. These programs could offer the following benefits:

  • Takes food waste and processes it in special processors to produce compost for growing healthier plants

  • Offers convenient options for curbside pickup or drop off in bins at the transfer station

  • Handles composting normal food waste plus meat, bones, pizza boxes and other things that cannot be composted in a home compost pile.

  • Offers finished compost to residents. People in the curbside pickup program will get one 35 pound bag of compost free each year. Everyone can also buy bags of finished compost.

The two potential programs are:

  1. A vendor establishes a service agreement contract directly with interested residents for curbside pickup at their residences on a weekly basis.

  2. A vendor sets up some 64 gallon collection bins at the transfer station and have residents deposit their compostable waste into the bins. The bins would be emptied once a week during the cold months and twice a week during the warmer months.

The town would not be involved with the residential pickup program since the vendor contracts directly with the interested residents. The vendor for the bins at the transfer station program will most likely be picked only after the normal town procurement process. The DPW would also be involved with setting things up and monitoring the program at the transfer station.

These programs would be separate from any home composting that you are already doing. If either or both programs are implemented, you will be able to choose whether to take part or not. You may decide to join even if you are already home composting so you can compost the additional listed items which you cannot normally compost at home. If you join a program, there will be a payment required from you. The actual amount will depend on how many people take part, what state aid may be available, and what the town might cover. The estimated cost with no state or town contribution is about $3.80 per week for curbside pickup and $1.75 per drop off with the transfer station bins program. There could be additional costs of up to $55 to buy a small kitchen counter bin, a larger animal proof bin for curbside pickup, and a starter supply of fully compostable bags for the 2 containers.