Home Composting

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Create a sustainable, healthy place for you, your family and the environment.

Adding compost to your soil improves its structure, helps it absorb and hold moisture, supplies slow-release nutrients to plants and reduces erosion. An integral part of sustainable gardening, composting helps you create a vibrant, healthy and beautiful garden while conserving water and energy and reducing pollution and waste. Attend one of our free workshops to learn how.

Quick Links

""Compost Workshops 
""Compost Party - Learn in your own backyard
""Free Compost Bins 
""Free Garden-Ready Compost - All year long
""What is composting?
""Information about curbside collection of compostable materials


Compost Workshops

Find out how to build healthy soil, minimize fertilizer and water use, and use less-toxic pest control measures at these workshops.

Worm Composting
Compost Basics

The Soil Saver™ compost bin and Wriggly Wranch™ worm bin will be available for sale at all workshops.

Additional compost workshops are available throughout Santa Clara County. Here is a list of all the 2020 workshops for ‘Compost Basics’ and ‘Worm Composting Basics’ workshops. Each class lasts about 2 hours and there is no charge to attend. Classes with less than 15 registered will be cancelled. Adults only please. Residents are welcome to attend any workshop anywhere in the county.

Free Compost Bins - 2020 Special
Palo Alto residents can receive a free compost bin or worm bin (one per household) by attending a compost workshop. Compost bins are available while supplies last.

Workshops are sponsored by the City of Palo Alto, Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission of Santa Clara County, and UCCE Master Gardeners. 
 

Worm Composting

Worms will eat your kitchen scraps and create a nutrient rich soil amendment for indoor and outdoor plants. This is a no fuss, no smell and low maintenance way to compost. Come to one of our workshops and learn how easy and fun worm composting can be.

All workshops require pre-registration since space is limited.

August 1, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28834 

August 22, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28844

Compost Basics

Using compost in your garden improves your soil, benefiting your plants and enhancing your garden's health and vitality. Compost helps plants absorb nutrients already in your soil, allows plants to develop better root structure which will help them grow healthier, and holds onto water and nutrients that are applied and slowly releases them when plants need them. Learn how easy it is to compost, attend one of these FREE compost workshops.

All workshops require pre-registration since space is limited.

March 7, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Cubberley Community Center, Room M-4
4000 Middlefield Rd
Palo Alto
Register online or call (408) 918-4640

CANCELLED - April 4, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Gamble Garden
1431 Waverley Street
Palo Alto
Register online or call (408) 918-4640

CANCELLED - May 2, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Cubberley Community Center, Room M-4
4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto
Register online or call (408) 918-4640

June 7, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28833

July 11, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28817

July 18, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28573

July 23, 2020
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28827 

July 25, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28843

August 8, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28818

September 19, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28835 

October 3, 2020
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Register: https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=28836


    
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Compost Party

Learn about composting with your friends and neighbors in your own backyard!  Gather 10-15 friends and neighbors and a Master Composter will come to your home to show you and your guests how to compost. They’ll even start your bin for you during the lesson.

Already have a bin? Host a party and share the joys of composting with your friends, allowing them to learn on an active bin and see a real-life example of how it works. Plus, the Master Composter can help you troubleshoot any problems you might be having.

For more information and to schedule a party, call (650) 496-5910.


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Free Garden-Ready Compost

Need more compost than you can make? Don’t have time to make your own? You can get free compost at:

  • Palo Alto’s new Compost Giveaway Station
  • Sunnyvale Materials Recovery and Transfer (SMaRT) Station

 

Compost Giveaway Station

Starting Friday June 6, you will be able to pick up free compost at the new Compost Giveaway Station. 

Location: 
Eleanor Pardee Community Garden 
851 Center Road, Palo Alto

Directions:
The Compost Giveaway Station is located at Eleanor Pardee Community Garden, on Center Road near Martin Street.

Hours: 
Tuesday through Sunday - 9 AM – 4 PM  
Monday - CLOSED

Availability:
Compost is available while supplies last. 

Guidelines:

  • Palo Alto residents only
  • Bring your own shovel and containers to put compost in
  • Only one car is allowed at the compost pile at a time
  • Pickup limited to 96 gallons per week
  • Drive carefully – gardeners and pedestrians enjoy the garden and are in the area

SMaRT Station

The SMaRT Station offers compost at no charge to residents of Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto. 

Location: 
310 Carl Road, Sunnyvale

Hours: 
Monday through Saturday - 8 AM – 5 PM  
Sunday - CLOSED

Availability:
The available supply of compost can vary so it is best to call before you go (408) 752-8530.

Guidelines: 

  • Bring your own shovel and containers to put compost in. 
  • Wear a face mask. 
  • Only one person is allowed out of the vehicle at a time.
  • Pickup limited to 96 gallons per week.

Visit the SMaRT Station online for additional information.

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What is composting?

Composting is a natural process of decomposition and recycling of organic material such as yard trimmings and food waste into a humus-rich soil amendment known as compost.

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