Yard Waste & Composting

Compostable yard waste such as leaves, flowers and grass clippings should be placed in the composting area of the Transfer Station. No bushes, tree trunks, limbs and stumps or plastic bags are allowed in this area. Composted soil is available free of charge.

Composting yard waste and food scraps on your property is also recommended. 

Earth Machine and New Age ComposterEarth Machine ($45) and New Age Composter ($60) can be purchased from the Town Garage or Transfer Station. Please call 508-785-0058, ext. 110 before arriving to purchase these items to insure inventory is available.

What is Composting?

Composting is a controlled process of decomposition of organic material. Naturally occurring soil organisms recycle nitrogen, potash, phosphorus, and other plant nutrients as they convert the material into humus.

Benefits of Composting

Composting is a convenient, beneficial and inexpensive way to handle your organic waste and help the environment. Composting: 

  • Enriches the soil
  • Reduces the volume of garbage requiring disposal
  • Saves money for you and your community in reduced soil purchases and reduced local disposal costs

Using compost adds essential nutrients, improves soil structure, which allows better root growth, and increases moisture and nutrient retention in the soil. Plants love compost!

What You Should Compost

Yard wastes such as leaves, grass clippings and weeds make excellent compost. All fruit and vegetable scraps, plus food wastes such as coffee grounds, tea bags, and eggs shells can be composted. 

To keep animals and odors out of your pile, do not add:

  • Bones
  • Diseased plants
  • Dog and cat litter
  • Fatty food wastes (such as cheese, grease, and oils)
  • Meat

Do not add invasive weeds and weeds that have gone to seed.

How to Use Compost

When the composed materials look like rich, brown soil, it is ready to use. Apply one-half to three inches of finished compost and mix it in with the top four inches of soil about one month before planting. Compost can be applied as a top dressing in the garden throughout the summer. 

Compost is excellent for reseeding lawns, and it can be spread one-quarter inch deep over the entire lawn to rejuvenate the turf. 

Making Potting Soil

To make potting soil, mix equal parts compost, sand and loam. You may put the compost through a screen to remove large particles - these can go back into the pile.


Grass clippings, leaves, and woody yard wastes can be used as mulch in gardens and around shrubs to keep the soil moist, control weed growth and add nutrients. 

Woody materials should be chipped or shredded. Use a mulch of pine needles around acid-loving plants. Leaves will work first as mulch, then as a soil enricher as they decompose.

Grass Clippings

Grass clippings should be dried before using as mulch. Do not mulch with grass clippings, which have been treated with herbicides; composting them first, however, will break down most herbicides.

Composting Without a Yard

Composting can be done indoors using an earthworm farm. Not only can you recycle your food scraps, you can also have a steady supply of fishing bait! For more information, call Department of Environmental Protection’s Recycling Program.

Buy or Build a Home Compost Bin

Makes great soil for lawns and gardens, while saving the transfer station expenses.