Food & Kitchen Waste Composting
Composting is an effective way to divert waste from the landfill, reducing unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. It also creates nutrient-rich compost to our soils that helps sequester more carbon and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. By composting food waste, Lexington can reduce the tonnage of waste it incinerates each year by about a third. Learn more about composting at home at Mass.gov.
LexSORT - Free Community Composting Pilot Program
LexSORT (Lexington Shared Organics Recovered Together) is a partnership between the Town of Lexington and the Lexington Zero Waste Collaborative, providing free compost drop-off locations throughout town. Register and view program details.
Curbside Pickup of Food & Kitchen Waste
There are several companies that provide curbside collection of kitchen waste, some of whom even provide you with finished compost:
- Black Earth Compost (When signing up through a referral, the new customer gets $5 off their invoice and the referring customer gets a $5 Black Earth credit. Non-profits like PTAs, churches, and LexZeroWaste can also receive $5 for referring a new customer.)
You can get a free covered collection bin to store your food and kitchen waste for collection. Just bring your invoice from a curbside kitchen waste collection company to DPW Operations on the first floor of the Public Service Building at:
201 Bedford Street
Lexington, MA 02420
Curbside Compost Pilot
The Town of Lexington is happy to announce the launch of a curbside composting pilot program. The program will allow 2,000 Lexington households to sign up for curbside pickup of food waste and other compostable items at no cost. The service will be run by Black Earth Compost. With compostable waste making up 35% of Lexington’s waste stream, this pilot is a critical step in reducing waste in our community.
- How long is the pilot? The program is currently funded for one year—from July 1, 2023 to June 31, 2024. There is the possibility of extension and expansion of the pilot after the first year, pending additional funding.
- Who can sign up? Any Lexington household that can be served by Black Earth Compost is eligible to sign up for the pilot program. Black Earth can work with households living in condominiums or multifamily housing to find a workable solution for providing service. The program is first-come, first-served, and only the first 2,000 households will be accepted into the program. The Town will maintain a waitlist.
- When can I sign up? Sign-ups will open on May 17, 2023 on the Black Earth Compost landing page for the pilot program.
- What if I am already paying for curbside compost pickup? If you are currently paying for curbside compost service through Black Earth, you must sign up for the pilot if you would like your subscription cost to be covered as part of the program. If you are not among the first 2,000 to sign up, you will continue to be charged by Black Earth for the service. If you are currently paying for curbside compost service through a provider other than Black Earth, you can still sign up for the Town program. You would then cancel your existing subscription and enroll with Black Earth at no cost.
- What if I am not accepted but still want to start composting? You can pay for curbside service through Black Earth Compost and/or join the waiting list for the pilot program in case a spot opens up or the pilot is expanded. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the LexSORT drop off locations or start composting at home.
- Will I get a bin when I sign up? All new Black Earth customers will receive a free starter kit, which includes the 13-gallon curbside bin, a countertop bin, and a roll of bin liners. Starter kits can be picked up from the Samuel Hadley Public Services Building (201 Bedford St.) after June 1, 2023.
- Do I need bin liners? Bin liners are strongly recommended as they will help keep your bin clean. After the first roll of liners provided in the starter kit, pilot participants are responsible for securing their own liners. All liners must be certified compostable by Biodegradable Products Institute, Compost Manufacturing Alliance, and TUV. Liners can be purchased through Black Earth in the shop section of your online account, but you are not required to purchase liners through Black Earth. Doubled-up brown paper bags can also be used as a liner when the temperature is above freezing.
Composting at Home
You can compost your own food and kitchen waste, as well as leaves and yard waste. It's easy, but there are a few dos and don'ts to make it work. Find out about composting at home from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Lexington residents can purchase composting bins from the Town for $25 through the following ways:
- Pay for the bin at DPW Operations on the first floor of the Public Service Building, located at:
201 Bedford Street
Lexington, MA 02420
- Pick the bin up at the Hartwell Avenue Composting Facility, located at:
60 Hartwell Avenue
Lexington, MA 02421
Call 781-274-8300 with questions.