Composting including Food Scraps

Backyard Composter

Annual Backyard Composter and Rain Barrel Truckload Sale!
WHOLESALE PRICES! (and free shipping!)
PRE-ORDER ONLINE NOW by Friday, 4/19/24, and pick up at Spring Recycle Fest on Saturday, April 20, 2024 at the Elm Avenue Park.  This Sale is open to anyone in the area!  You do not need to be a resident.

NEW ‘Drop Spot’ Program:  A new option where residents can drop off food scraps for composting!  The program launched with a successful pilot in 2023 and it is now a permanent free program.   For details or to sign up, please see the program flyer!

Bethlehem's Food Scraps Composting Project:

  • We are proud to be the largest compost facility in the Capital Region.  We're also the only municipal facility in the region that is currently composting food scraps (as of early 2023.)
  • We work in partnership with local private haulers that provide food scraps pickup service to residents, schools, and businesses in our community.  We create "Full Circle" compost from food scraps and yard waste right in town.
  • In 2022 we launched our first “Aerated Static Pile” zones.  This system uses perforated pipes and blower motors to force air into the base of the compost piles which can greatly accelerate the compost process.

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


  1. DIY Entirely:  Food scraps can be composted in your own back yard.  Purchase discounted composters through our annual sale held in the spring.
  2. Let us take care of it:  Compost your food scraps and compostable paper/cardboard through the convenience of collected curbside by the private hauler FoodScraps360. They deliver to the Town's facility and we take it from there.
  3. NEW!  Let us help you:  Starting May 13, 2023 during Compost Awareness Week, we are offering a new "drop spot" option where residents can drop off food scraps for composting.  The first spot is at the Town's Compost Facility, available initially to the first 30 resident households who sign up for the pilot program.  For details or to sign up, please see the program flyer!
curbside and backyard composting

 Backyard Composting resources:

  • The Town of Bethlehem holds annual backyard composter and rain barrel truckload sales at 30-50% off the retail cost.
  • Kiss the Ground video  This 6 minute video does a GREAT job of sharing the science and benefits of food scraps composting in easy-to-understand ways, and is a great trailer for the full-length documentary film which we highly recommend (available on Netflix, Vimeo and other services).
  • 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 plastic trash can (short video shows how), or old pallets (short video shows how)
  • Questions?  Contact the Town Recycling Coordinator for more info.  Email: 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.
  • Food scraps composting is one easy and important way for everyone to help address climate change.  Food scraps trashed in the landfill produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas up to 60 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2)!
  • Compost
    • enriches the soil
    • saves water
    • holds soil moisture, helping prevent erosion
    • supports healthier plant growth
    • suppresses weeds
    • reduces the need for chemical fertilizers
    • helps plants drawn down atmospheric carbon dioxide
    • and offers a other benefits.

 Bethlehem Food Waste Composting in the News: