JUNE 2017 UPDATE: For the time being, we ask that residents cease using the compostable bags made from the biofilm. Our composter has found some issues with these bags not quite breaking down as expected, or as needed. They intend on running some tests to find bags that can work. In the meantime, you can continue using paper bags or utilizing newspaper to line the carts and kitchen collector, or even using leaf bags to line the cart. Just for the time being, please refrain from the compostable bags until we get more clarity from the composter.
Please sign up to the email list for future important updates on the program. The sign up is on the right hand side of this very web page.
Introduction to the program
Last week's leftovers stinking up the fridge? That whole bunch of bananas that ripened too fast on your countertop? Bratwurst rolled off the grill and landed in some dirt? Put it in the organics cart!
The City of Madison Streets Division's Community Organic Recycling Effort works to divert organic material from the landfill. Currently, the material is hauled to Blue Ribbon Organics where it is turned into compost.
We can accept the following materials in the cart. If it is not in this list, then it should go into the refuse. If you aren't sure, contact us, and we'll let you know where it goes.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Paper plates, paper towels, paper napkins, stained pizza boxes - any paper too food stained to recycle (no waxy items)
- Dairy products and eggs (and their shells)
- Coffee grounds with filter, and spent tea bags (but no strings)
- House plants (no soil)
- Pasta, bread, cereals, and rice
- Meat, poultry, and fish - bones and all
- Grease, sauces, soups and gravies.
- Cakes, pies, cookies, and other pastries
- Even a small amount of weeds and regular yard waste. (Nothing more than a handful or so of weeds or yard waste - do not fill the cart with this material)
Some items are absolutely not allowed in the organics program. Participants should never place plastic, metal, glass, diapers, hygiene products, and pet waste into the organics cart.Currently, the Streets Division is only able to supply this service to limited section of the city. But we are growing. By the end of 2017, we aim to have 2,000 households and 60 businesses enrolled in this program.
Long term, the Streets Division seeks to take the food waste/organics to an anaerobic digester, much like the Envision Digester in Middleton or the UW-Oshkosh biodigester, where it is processed and turned into electricity and compost.
To stay informed on program news and expansion information, sign-up for the Madison CORE email list.
If you don't want to wait for the city program to reach your neighborhood, you can contact one of the private businesses that offer household organics collection for a fee.
Subscribe to the Household Organics Collection email list: