Composting is the managed and faster natural breakdown (decomposition) process of select organic waste you can do at home to reduce waste. Microorganisms break down select materials into compost with the presence of carbon, nitrogen, air, and water.
What to Compost?
(Carbon Rich - Energy Source)
(Nitrogen Rich - Protein Source)
|Dry leaves, straw, hay||Vegetable scraps|
|Paper coffee filters||Fruit peels/rings (minimal citrus)|
|Shrub pruning||Coffee grounds|
|Pine needles/cones||Tea grounds/leaves|
|Chopped twigs/branches||Soft pruning|
|Wood ash||House plants|
|Shredded newspaper||Spent flowers|
|Shredded uncoated paper and cardboard||Hair|
|Egg cartons (cardboard)||Feathers|
|Sawdust (untreated wood)||Fur|
|Brown paper bags (shredded)||Nut shells (except walnuts)|
|Crushed egg shells||Weeds without mature seeds (non-invasive)|
|Paper towel and toilet paper rolls||Manure (herbivore waste)|
|Gerbil, hamster, guinea pig, and rabbit bedding||Hops|
Items to Avoid
|Meat or bones||Weeds with mature seeds||Diseased or insect-ridden plants|
|Eggs||Treated or painted wood||Grass clippings|
|Dairy products||Particle board||Used kitty litter|
|Grease, fat, oil, lard||Plants treated with pesticides||Grass clippings|
|Glossy/coated paper||Coal or charcoal ash||Metal, glass, plastic|
Composting Sites and Community Gardens
Find a site near you to drop-off your compostable material, or your finished compost.
Backyard Composting Program
You can begin composting at home on your own or if you live within the Solid Waste service area*, you’re eligible to receive a free backyard bin to participate in the Backyard Composting Program**. (An education partnership with the Water Department and UF/IFAS Extension office)
This program provides free backyard composting bins for single-family homes. Being a part of the solid waste process, individuals will get the chance to learn and start composting as they recycle their organic waste. This program is only available to City of Tampa residents serviced by the Department of Solid Waste & Environmental Program Management, which does not include New Tampa.
*Please verify that you live within the service area before registering for the program workshop using the link below. If your service says "trash pick-up outside Tampa," you are not eligible.
**To register for a mandatory virtual composting workshop and receive a free backyard composting bin please visit:
BACKYARD COMPOSTING UPDATE
Once each workshop has reached capacity, it will be CLOSED. While there is no waitlist, more classes will be available throughout the year. Stay tuned on our social media channels or sign up to be notified of webpage changes at the bottom of this page.