Hingham Promotes Composting Options & Composting Survey

Photo by Lenka Dzurendova on Unsplash

January 17, 2024 By The Town of Hingham

DPW Superintendent Randy Sylvester, in partnership with the Cleaner Greener Hingham Committee, is proud to announce several ways for residents to compost in Hingham and move closer to our net zero by 2040 goal.

Sylvester and his team built a robust composting program over the past three years that is beneficial to both the residents and the environment. “By offering food waste composting, we are reducing the Town’s cost to dispose of materials, reducing methane, which is 25 more times as potent as CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere, and creating clean organic soil,” said Sylvester. Composting aligns with the Town of Hingham’s commitment to be net zero by 2040, outlined in the newly released Climate Action Plan.

Backyard Composting
Residents can purchase compost bins for home composting from the Hingham DPW. The New Age compost bin is rodent-resistant and offered through the Town for $25. Thanks to funding from the MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the cost to residents is over 50% off the retail price of these bins. All of the funds collected are put towards offsetting the price of the town’s recycling and helping fund Household Hazardous Waste days for residents. The bin size is flexible and can be customized depending on the space available.

The bin can hold as much as 1 cubic yard of material for composting. To learn more, visit the Town of Hingham’s composting page where you will find more helpful information about composting including a recipe and a recording of a Zoom presentation about backyard composting put on by Cleaner Greener Hingham. To purchase a compost bin for backyard composting, please contact the DPW at (781) 741-1430.

Curbside Compost Collection
There are two compost companies that service Hingham residents for curbside compost – Black Earth Compost and Bootstrap Compost. Both companies provide curbside compost pick up services for a fee. This convenient program allows residents to collect compost at home and have it picked up weekly or bi-weekly. It’s as easy as sorting your food scraps, placing them in a compostable bag and setting out curbside. Both companies will accept organic material including meat, bones and dairy, which are not recommended for backyard composting. Residents have an opportunity to receive compost from the companies for use in their garden beds and yards. Bootstrap Compost customers fill up the bucket with food scraps and place it curbside for Bootstrap to pick up and replace with a clean bucket. Residents have an option to request finished compost back for use in their gardens. Upon request, Bootstrap shares up to 5 gallons (or 25 pounds) of premium compost per year. For more on Bootstrap, its history, and its impact, visit https:/bootstrapcompost.com.

Black Earth supplies a bin to its customers and asks them to fill a compostable bag with their food scraps and place it in the bin. The bin is emptied curbside. In the spring, participants will receive a voucher for pickup of a cubic foot bag of compost from participating garden centers and discounts on bulk delivery of compost and soil blends. Residents can find more information and sign up for Black Earth services at https://blackearthcompost.com/.


We want to hear from you – are you already composting? Would you like to learn more? Please fill out the Cleaner Greener Hingham Committee’s food scraps composting survey.

2 thoughts on “Hingham Promotes Composting Options & Composting Survey”

  1. Thank you for writing this article on composting. The survey is a meaningful way to get input from residents. It will also serve to educate and encourage a better understanding of our waste stream disposal.
    It is encouraging to note that waste reduction in the Hingham Public School plays a significant role in the habits of students. Our schools have vibrant Green Teams that take action regarding the reduction of trash. Schools are composting food waste on site, encouraging reusable food and drink containers, and recycling used paper goods. This saves the Town money.
    Curbside pick up has played a role in reducing food waste in our community. However, please consider the carbon footprint when a box truck drives long distances from a New Hampshire composting facility and then drives around Town to pick up food scraps. A municipal approach needs to be considered to make the process more carbon neutral. Let us understand that it will take time for a municipal program to be designed and developed.
    But why wait? You can start reducing your carbon footprint tomorrow. Parents and grandparents have an opportunity to provide environmental education at home. Composting can be and is easy right in the backyard. I find the New Age Composter works well but may not be the easiest method. As a teacher I installed Earth Machine Composters at a local high school 22 years ago. The composters look and function in the same way as they did when first installed. The key to the Earth Machine is that it is easy and effective with no mess.
    At the backside of Hingham High School there is a display of composting options. HHS is the flagship on the South Shore for their environmental impact. The student body is aware of the role they play in influencing the entire community on how to reduce our carbon footprint. High school students are also currently processing food scraps using a 30-day composting process called Bokashi. It is an odorless fermentation process that has been used in Japan for over one thousand years.
    Hope you decide to think about composting at home. Peter Swanson

  2. Thanks to ALL who have made this happen. I have a compost bin (for at least 30 years), but I have to sort out certain things. Nonetheless, I’ve cut back dramatically on waste.
    Rev. Dr. Katherine Kallis (retired)


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.