Composting options for residents include:

  • Backyard Composting
  • Drop-off 
  • Vermicomposting   

International Compost Awareness Week - May 7th - 13th 

It’s International Compost Awareness Week! This year’s theme “For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food...Compost!” focuses on how compost can have a role in helping feed the world, by making our soil healthier which produces healthier food.  

Composting materials such as food scraps and yard trimmings converts these materials into a nutrient rich soil amendment that communities can use to promote soil fertility and productivity, improve water quality, reduce stormwater runoff and soil erosion, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Composting options for residents include:

  • Drop-off - Carrboro residents can compost food scraps at the Carrboro Farmer’s Market on Saturdays or any one of Orange County's  food waste & recycling collection centers.Earth Machine Composter
  • Backyard Compost Bins - Backyard composting is a great way to manage organic waste at home. You can build your own backyard compost bin or purchase one. The Town of Carrboro sells Earth Machine’s backyard compost bins to residents for $45 and kitchen pails for $5. Compost Bin/Kitchen Pail Order Form
  • Vermicomposting - Vermicomposting is great way to compost if you have limited outdoor space or live in an apartment or condominium. Vermicomposting uses earthworms to turn organic waste into high quality compost. Vermicomposting kits may be purchased in stores, online, or you can make your own. 

Free Leaf Compost  

Carrboro provides free leaf compost to residents. The compost is made from loose leaves collected at the curb, is located at 7917 Old NC 86, and accessible during daylight hours.

Benefits & Uses

Benefits of Composting

  1. Saves Money & Landfill Space - According to the EPA, 94% of the food we throw away ends up in the landfill.  In 2015, Americans disposed 37.6 million tons of food waste.  For every pound of organic material composted at home, it is one less pound that must be collected, transported, and deposited in the landfill.
  2. Saves Water - Compost reduces a plant's needs for water by increasing how much water can be held by the soil.  Only a 5% increase in organic material quadruples the soil's water holding capacity1.  Additionally, when compost is added to bare soils as a thin layer, it will keep soil moisture from evaporating, a practice called top-dressing. 
  3. Enriches Soil - Compost provides soil with a vast number of beneficial microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, and the habitat that the microbes need to live. The microbes extract nutrients from the mineral part of the soil and eventually pass the nutrients on to plants.
  4. Reduces the Need for Chemical Fertilizers - Compost is a rich source of nutrients and significantly reduces or eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
  5. Reduces Methane Emissions from Landfills and Lowers Your Carbon Footprint - When you add organic matter to a landfill, the anaerobic (absence of oxygen) bacteria starts decomposing the waste. This type of bacteria produces 50% carbon dioxide and 50% methane (a greenhouse gas more powerful than carbon dioxide).   

Uses of Compost

There are four ways in which you can use your compost in your yard and garden.

  1. A soil amendment  
  2. A moisture holding mulch
  3. A top dressing for your lawn
  4. Compost tea


​​1. Compost Fundamentals, Compost Benefits and Uses. Washington State University, Whatcom County Extension. Accessed on 28 January 2015.