Boston’s Compost Program Is Expanding

Mayor Marty Walsh is dubbing the program, 'Project Oscar.'

compost bin

Compost bin image via shutterstock

Last summer, the city launched a pilot compost program at select farmer’s markets. Now, Mayor Marty Walsh wants to expand the program this fall.

The City of Boston announced Friday that it will be collecting residential food waste at two communal collection containers and at three farmer’s markets. The program will be called, “Project Oscar.”

“Composting is important for Boston’s growing urban agriculture movement and meeting our waste reduction goals,” Mayor Walsh said in a statement. “This program demonstrates Boston’s commitment to composting and willingness to try new approaches.”

To participate in Project Oscar, you must be a resident of either East Boston or the North End. Two key-pad locked containers will be placed in Maverick Square and by the Nazzaro Center. Residents will put their food scraps in the containers. But, it’s not as easy as just dumping your inedibles. The initial pilot will run from September 22 to November 30 and will only be open to 200 Boston residents who live near the containers. These residents will also have to go through an online training program. The announcement says that participants will be given a code that allows them to unlock the bins and drop-off their food scraps at their convenience. The food scraps collected from both the farmer’s markets and Project Oscar will be taken by Public Works to Rocky Hill Farm.

“As we explore various means of getting food out of our waste stream, lack of storage is often a major impediment in Boston’s denser neighborhoods,” said Public Works Commissioner Michael Dennehy in a statement. “Project Oscar is a new model that may help Boston and other dense cities collect food scraps in neighborhoods, where it might not be possible through traditional collection methods.”

In addition, the farmer’s market composting collection, which is a spin off of last year’s program, begins Friday and will run through the end of the market seasons. Last year’s initiative diverted more than 6,000 pounds of food scraps from the waste stream. This year’s program adds three new markets—Dudley Square, Ashmont-Peabody, and Roslindale.

If you are interested in the participating, please email or call the Environment Department at 617-635-3850.