Food Scraps

The Town of Bethlehem plans to begin a pilot program this fall to compost food scraps at our Town Compost Facility!

  Please help (and learn more) by completing our brief, confidential survey.

Food Scraps Composting – It’s easier than you may think!

  1. Food scraps can be composted in your own back yard (see below),


  2. You can have your food scraps and compostable paper/cardboard collected curbside through the Residential Composting Program provided by Empire Zero.
Compost Pail
Why compost?

  • Composting is the most ecological and environmentally efficient way of handling food scraps.
  • The town has a high rate of participation in recycling and our yard waste collection and composting program. But the majority of food scraps is currently being thrown away.
  • Diverting food scraps from the landfill is well aligned with the town’s Sustainable Bethlehem program, and will allow us to get closer to the town and state’s long-term ‘zero waste’ goals.
  • Food scraps makes up 18 percent of landfill waste in the US, and greenhouse gas emissions are 23 times more harmful than if the waste is composted, according to EPA estimates.
  • Compost enriches the soil, holds soil moisture, helps prevent erosion, suppresses weed growth, reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, and offers a variety of other benefits.

Backyard Composting resources:

  1. Comprehensive Home Composting Guide by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE).

    Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County can also advise you on backyard compost units and other compost questions. Phone: 518-765-3500
  2. There are a number of types of compost units you can purchase, but you can also make them simply and inexpensively with wire mesh, a trash can (short video showing how), or old pallets (very short video shows you how)
  3. Contact the Town Recycling Coordinator for more info including a backyard composting brochure. Email: or phone: 439-4955 ext. 1510

Bethlehem Food Waste Composting in the News: