Composting in Philadelphia

Have you ever thought about how much of your trash is food waste? If you’re like most Philadelphians, it’s probably a lot. This trash costs Philadelphia taxpayers money and contributes to climate change. Composting organic materials (like food scraps and yard waste) is a great way to keep organic waste out of landfills, and it also creates material that can be added to soil to help plants grow.

Interested in composting as a Philadelphia resident? There are several options, including composting at home, using a compost collection service, or bringing your compost to a community drop-off site.

Compost at Home

One option is to compost your food waste right in your own yard. Visit our Backyard Composting 101 Guide to learn how to set up a home composting system.

Use a Compost Collection Service

If you have limited outdoor space, using a compost collection service could be a great option for you. There are several companies that offer residential compost collection service in Philadelphia. Visit our list of local compost haulers (click the “Food Waste” link) to find a compost hauler that suits your needs.

Leaf & Yard Waste Drop-off Sites

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation’s Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center and the Streets Department’s sanitation convenience centers allow Philadelphia residents to drop off organic materials for composting. The Streets Department’s six sanitation convenience centers accept yard waste, which must be free of contamination and contained in paper bags only. Learn more and see a list of Sanitation Convenience Center locations.

At the Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center, residents can drop off materials for free, and commercial businesses can drop off materials for a tipping fee. Accepted materials:

  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Brush
  • Herbivore manure
  • Wood chips
The Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center
3850 Ford Rd.
Philadelphia, PA 19131

Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. –  3 p.m.
Saturday: 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (April-October)

City residents and businesses can also pick up screened leaf compost, mulch, and wood chips from the Fairmount Park Organic Recycling Center. Learn more about how to pick up organic materials and how to use them.

Tips for Reducing Food Waste

There are many small steps you can take to reduce the amount of food you waste at home. Check out these resources for helpful tips:

EPA’s Tips for Reducing Wasted Food At Home

UN Environment’s Top Tips for Reducing Food Waste

Community Composting Competition

Philadelphia’s Food Policy Advisory Council is leading a competition to reduce food waste. Participants designed a compost system in a container that could be replicated for neighborhoods. The final two competitors are now building and testing their designs, and the winner will be announced later this year. The winning design will be shared across Philadelphia, encouraging other neighborhoods to build community composting systems and help achieve Philadelphia’s Zero Waste vision.

 Photo by University City District™

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