Compost

Backyard Composter

Backyard Compost Unit Truckload Sale!

50% off Earth Machine Backyard Composters, accessories, and rain barrels and FREE Shipping!

Sale is open to ALL AREA RESIDENTS (You do NOT have to be a Bethlehem resident)!

Pre-order online by May 1, 2021.  Pick up is on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Elm Avenue Park.  See the sales website listed above for more details.

COVID-19 Precautions:  All customers are asked to wear a mask and remain in their vehicles upon arrival.  Information including an arrival time slot will be emailed to customers prior to May 8th.

Update on Bethlehem's Food Scraps Composting Project:



  • We are currently composting food scraps on a limited scale from the local private hauler FoodScraps360.  They service residents and small businesses in our community, and have proudly partnered with the Town of Bethlehem to create "Full Circle" compost from food scraps and yard waste right in Town!
  • We have purchased equipment for the “Aerated Static Pile” method of composting, expanded the paved pad, and are in the process of installing the local portion of the electricity and completing the permanent food scraps composting facility project.
  • $240K NYS DEC grant received for food scraps composting equipment purchase and paving.
  • Test composting limited quantities of food scraps at our facility.
    Successfully completed in 2017. Please click here for the results.
  • Community "drop spots" for residents’ food scraps, to be brought to Town facility
    Under consideration as a possibility. Please complete the survey to have your opinion heard.

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

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

    or

  2. You can have your food scraps and compostable paper/cardboard collected curbside through a service provided by FoodScraps360.
curbside and backyard composting
Backyard Composting resources:

  • The Town of Bethlehem holds annual backyard composter and rain barrel truckload sales, at 50% off the retail cost.  See the top of the page for more details on the current sale.
  • Comprehensive Home Composting Guide by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE).
  • Compost Bins:  There are a number of types of compost units you can purchase; try a web search for “compost bins” to get started. We recommend the Earth Machine as one unit that works well; that product is offered at our annual truckload sale.

    Make your own: You can also make them simply and inexpensively with a ring of wire fence (here are instructions, or a short video shows how), or a plastic trash can (short video shows how), or old pallets (short video shows how)
  • Questions?  Contact the Town Recycling Coordinator for more info. Email: recycle@townofbethlehem.org or phone: 518-439-4955 ext. 1510

‘Vermicomposting’ or ‘Vermiculture’ Resources
(Vermicomposting is indoor composting with special ‘Red Wiggler’ composting worms)



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 20 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.

Bethlehem Food Waste Composting in the News: