Compost Facility

The Compost Facility opens for the season on Saturday, April 1, 2023.  Please see the 2023 Facility Service Schedule for days and hours of operation.

The Town of Bethlehem's Compost Facility provides an ecologically responsible way of turning our yard waste and food scraps into high quality compost and wood mulch products that build healthy soils and attractive landscapes.

Healthy, living soils in turn grow beautiful and nutritious plants.  Compost also significantly reduces methane emissions from landfills and sequesters atmospheric carbon to help address climate change.

Obtaining Compost

Our "Full Circle" Compost and Wood Mulch products are available at the Compost Facility for residents, non-residents and commercial users. Non-residents and commercial users can only obtain compost on full service days. Rates for the Compost Facility can be found here. (see compost product descriptions below)

Dropping Off Yard Waste

Town Residents may drop off yard waste for FREE (up to 4 yards/week) during Full Service and Self Service hours. Commercial users may drop off yard waste during Full Service hours at a rate of $10/yard.  See schedule.

Dropping Off Food Scraps

The Food Scraps/SSOW tipping fee is $15/yard or $30/ton, currently available to commercial haulers by appointment with advanced approval.  We are launching a new pilot food scraps drop spot program in 2023 for registered residents only.  See the Compost web page for details.

What is Compost?

Compost is the humus-rich material that results from the controlled decomposition of organic material. It’s valuable to work into garden or potting soils, or to use as a top dressing or mulch.

Why use Compost?

Gardeners and landscapers love compost because it

  • Enriches the soil with essential nutrients, including slow release micro-nutrients that are often absent from synthetic fertilizers
  • Improves soil structure of both high clay and sandy soils
  • Holds soil moisture, so you can water less
  • Dresses up plantings and garden beds so they look their best
  • Adds valuable organic matter to garden and potting soils
  • Suppresses weed growth, plant diseases, and pests
  • Balances soil pH
  • Helps prevent erosion

More about what compost is and why to use it:

Our "Full Circle" Compost and Wood Mulch Products:
Yard waste and organic material from our community is composted sustainably at our facility into valuable products, which are then used “full circle” in local gardening and landscaping!

“Bethlehem’s Choice” Screened Compost*: Our classic screened compost made from Bethlehem’s own brush, yard waste, and leaves. The material is great for mulching or top dressing for landscaping and gardens of all types, and improves soil texture and fertility when mixed into your garden soils.  It can also be spread on your lawn to improve the soil and give your grass a boost.

Available in 1/2" screened (most popular general compost; especially helpful for mulching and top dressing)

“Full Circle Food Scraps” Enhanced Triple-Screened Compost*: Our newest product, now available in 1.0 cubic foot bags!  This is our classic screened compost with an added nutrient boost from local food scraps that were composted with the yard waste.  We highly recommend this product for both vegetable and flower gardens.  This product is currently only available bagged.

“Garden Gold” Leaf Compost: A compost soil amendment made exclusively from our vacuum collected leaves. Its high organic content makes it perfect for turning into your vegetable or flower gardens, or for mixing with sand or new topsoil to create or improve garden beds. Contractors often use our leaf compost as the organic matter component in topsoil production.

“Natural Blend” Wood Mulch:
Our wood mulch is great for dressing planting areas and paths, and suppressing weeds naturally.

Dark wood mulch:  Naturally a rich dark brown color, this wood mulch is a woodier version of our classic screened compost described above.  Unlike some wood chips which can draw nitrogen out of the soil as they decompose, this wood mulch is "mineralized" by the composting process, and does not impact soil nitrogen.