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Household organic materials are collected by the resident in a provided cart and picked up by a special truck on Wednesday mornings. Residents pay less than $2 per week to participate in this program. Organics collected are composted instead of incinerated with the trash. The organics collected go to a commercial composting facility in Ipswich.
The Ipswich Waste Reduction Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the Department of Public Works Office and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, started this curbside food waste collection pilot in Fall 2011.
The fee to participate in this program is $95 per year for residents. We are able to provide a free collection cart, thanks to the Ipswich Department of Public Works and MassDEP.
All Ipswich residents with town trash pickup can participate, but residents with private trash may be eligible as well. You can join at any time by signing up online at Black Earth Composting. Now is a great time to join!
Organics are materials that break down naturally and can be turned into compost. Composting organics saves them from going to incinerators or landfills, where space is costly and hard to find. The town currently pays $72.50 per ton to dispose of its trash. Putting organics in landfills produces large amounts of methane, which is harmful to the environment.
No! You can join at any time by signing up online at Black Earth Compost. Now is a great time to join!
There are so many organics and other items that you can put in your composting cart!
The list below includes examples of items that are not accepted. Check here for a complete list.
The fee covers organics pickup at your curb, transportation to the composting facility, composting the food waste and 50 gallons of finished compost twice per year.
Payment is due when you sign up for the program at Black Earth Compost. You can pick up your cart at the DPW office at town hall (2nd floor).
Black Earth Compost, a local hauler and compost company, picks up the food waste curbside using a tight tank truck that prevents leakage.
Black Earth Compost brings organics to Agresource in Ipswich to be composted. Agresource is permitted by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to accept food waste for composting.
You may put out up to four paper leaf bags along with your cart each week. Be sure to use leaf bags for your additional organics. Remember, no leaves or branches!
Large paper lawn bags (up to four) can be used for overflow organics, lawn clippings, and yard waste ONLY. Leaves and branches must be brought to the Transfer Station.
The collection trucks do not have compactors. Food waste is very dense and does not need to be compacted. Leaves tend to be light (when dry) and would quickly fill up the collection truck, increasing trips to the compost facility and our costs.
The town offers leaf pickup in November each year (the third week on your regular trash day). Additionally, you can drop off your leaf and yard waste year-round at the Transfer Station on Town Farm Road. Ipswich residents with a transfer station or beach sticker can use the Transfer Station during regular operating hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM.
Kitty litter is accepted as long as it is bentonite-free. All natural animal bedding with waste (poop) is acceptable.
House plants, flowers, floral trimmings, glass clippings, weeds and other yard clippings are all accepted but need to be in a paper leaf bag. Remember, no leaves, stumps or branches!
Lobster, crab, oyster and clam shells are allowed.
Yes, you may continue your backyard composting. We encourage you to also participate in the curbside program, because we accept additional items you can't compost in your backyard, such as meat, fish products, soiled paper, bentonite-free kitty litter and much more.
At this time, the curbside composting program is optional for residents.
No. We cannot accept any kind of diapers or other biodegradable items.
Ipswich currently diverts an average of 3.5 tons of organic waste per week. More participants means more organic waste diverted and lower trash costs.
You can pick up your compost at the Transfer Station at the end of Town Farm Road. This compost is only for participants in this program, and you are allowed to take 50 gallons (in your containers). Please do not fill up a truck bed!
The program removes more than 600 pounds of organic waste per participating household per year from the trash stream, reducing the cost to dispose of it. Ipswich pays $72.50 per ton to incinerate its trash at Wheelabrator in North Andover, so composting benefits the town both financially and environmentally.