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Cartoon character joyfully tossing a mostly eaten apple into a compost bin.Food scraps recycling drop-off for Madison residents will be available at two locations this summer. 

Drop-off will be available from June 14 to October 25, 2022.

Drop-off One:

Tuesday evenings at the South Madison Farmer's Market.

Hours: 2:00pm to 6:00pm

Location: 1602 S. Park Street (the Madison Labor Temple).

What can you compost here?

 

Drop-off Two:

Tuesday evening at the Eastside Farmer's Market.

Hours: 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Location: 202 S. Ingersoll Street (McPike Park)

What can you compost here?

 

 

Other options...

Try backyard composting options, if appropriate.

You can also contact a private vendor to possibly set up collection service.

 

think prevention

Reducing the waste you make is always the best choice.

Use the resources on our other food scraps pages to help plan your meals, store & use what you buy, and to create new opportunities with leftovers.

 

South Madison Farmer's market drop-off site

Location: 1602 S. Park Street (the Madison Labor Temple).

Dates Open: Tuesday evenings only from June 14 to October 25, 2022.

Hours: 2:00pm to 6:00pm (again, this will only be open on Tuesday evenings from June 14 to October 25)

Businesses will not be accepted. The focus will be receiving food scraps from residents.

Food scraps collected here will be hauled to the Neighborhood Food Solutions farm in Fitchburg for composting.

More information about the South Madison Farmer's Market can be found at their website.

This drop-off site was made possible with the help of a grant from the USDA and the Natural Resource Defense Council, and with the assistance of Sustain Dane.

 

EASTSIDE FARMER'S MARKET DROP-OFF SITE

Location: 202 S. Ingersoll Street (McPike Park).

Dates Open: Tuesday evenings only from June 14 to October 25, 2022.

Hours: 4:00pm to 7:00pm (again, this will only be open on Tuesday evenings from June 14 to October 25)

Businesses will not be accepted. The focus will be receiving food scraps from residents.

 

Food scraps collected here will be hauled to the Neighborhood Food Solutions farm in Fitchburg for composting.

More information about the Eastside Farmer's Market can be found at their website.

This drop-off site was made possible with the help of a grant from the USDA and the Natural Resource Defense Council, and with the assistance of Sustain Dane.

 

food scraps you can compost at the market sites

You can use this guide to help you decide what you can, and cannot, take to the market food scraps sites.

Not everything that could be composted is allowed in this program.

The food scraps recycling at the farmer's market are limited to the below items. (The below list will be updated if more items are added):

      • Raw fruits, including peelings, cores, etc.
      • Raw vegetables, including peelings, husks, etc.
      • Coffee grounds
      • Grains and Rice
      • Eggshells

If you have a food scrap you want to compost, but you are unsure if you can take it to the site or not, please contact us.

Do not take food scraps to the site that you are unsure if you can compost or not. Contaminating the food scraps recycling can make the program fail.

A list of items that cannot be accepted can be seen below.

foods & other items banned from market drop-off

The below foods are BANNED from the market food scraps drop-off program.

DO NOT BRING THESE ITEMS TO THE MARKET FOR COMPOSTING:

The below list will be expanded if additional banned items become necessary

  • All meat & bones (including fish and shellfish)
  • Food products cooked with fats, oils, and grease
  • Containers of fats, oils, and grease
  • All dairy products
  • Paper products, including bags & newspaper
  • Compostable plastics, including compostable bags & compostable tableware
  • Produce stickers, twist ties, etc.
  • Pet waste & diapers
  • Traditional plastics
  • Metal items
  • Glass items

 

backyard composting

Check out page about how to start composting the food scraps in your back yard.

 

private COMPOSTING OPTIONS

If you are interested in composting your food scraps and the drop-off sites just won't work for your needs, these composters may be able to offer the service to you for a collection fee:

  • Earth Stew: 608-213-6990
  • Curbside Composter: 608-338-4798
  • Green Box Compost: compost@withgreenbox.com

Commercial entities may also want to consider inquiring with Sanimax or your private waste hauler to see if they can offer food scraps services. Organix Recycling may also be able to provide some collection services.

The drop-off sites are for residents. They can't support the volume generated by restaurants, food manufacturers, and other businesses.  Commercial entities are also encouraged to contact the company that presently hauls their refuse and recycling to see if a food scraps program is an available service.

 

will citywide food scraps recycling ever happen?

Yes.

We've learned a lot of lessons over the past 10 years of trying to make food scraps recycling work in Madison. We haven't solved it yet, but we will keep trying. 

One promising development that could get us closer to providing food scraps recycling for the city is the Sustainability Campus proposed by the Dane County Department of Waste and Renewables.  You can read more about that project here.

 

Why did the streets division program end in 2021?

Food scraps collected by the Streets Division were taken to an anaerobic biodigester that primarily handles cow manure.

The biogas generated by cow manure is more valuable on the marketplace if it does not include food waste.

In an effort to make the gas more valuable, food scraps were removed from the material they can accept.

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