Composting & Yard Waste

Yard Waste

Massachusetts has banned yard waste from solid waste disposal in order to divert from landfills to more sustainable options. Yard waste like recycling and composting. In Milton, curbside collection is offered throughout the year with higher frequencies in the Spring and Fall, where materials are brought to a local recycling and composting facility, Landscape Express. Residents may drop off yard waste this facility individually if needed, however, it will be at a cost. Email for more information.

To ensure your yard waste is picked up during curbside collection, please follow these guidelines:

  • Ensure all yard waste is placed in barrels or a paper leaf bag.
  • Barrels should be labeled Yard Waste in some way.
  • Branches should be less than 4 inches in diameter and less than three feet in length.
  • Branches may be bundled and securely tied with natural fiber string. Bundles should be under 40 pounds in weight.
  • Grass clippings should be in paper bags or barrels labeled as "Yard Waste". Loose grass clippings will not be picked up.
  • Yard waste in plastic bags will not be picked up.

Recycling & Composting on Site

If you are looking to save time, money and energy spent on collecting and bagging your yard waste, there are numerous strategies to reuse yard waste on site. 

Grass clippings can be left in place to add nutrients directly to your lawn without risking disease if done correctly. Leaves and brush can be turned into mulch with the appropriate gear. All yard waste can be added as a KEY element to compost piles, due to the drier and woodier composition it helps create a balanced product as well as reduces the stink of greener & wetter kitchen scraps.

The EPA webpage on waste reduction outlines the following additional strategies:

  • Learn to compost at home. Use food scraps, yard trimmings, and other organic wastes to create a compost pile. Adding compost you make to soil increases water retention, decreases erosion, and keeps organic materials out of landfills. 
  • Raise the cutting height of your lawnmower during hot summer months to keep grass roots shaded and cooler, reducing weed growth, browning, and the need for watering.
  • If you need large lawn and garden equipment such as tillers and chainsaws, you can reduce waste (and save money) by setting up a sharing program with your neighbors.
  • When you mow, “grasscycle” by leaving grass clippings on your lawn instead of bagging then. The clippings will return nutrients to the soil instead of taking up space in landfills.
  • Donate healthy plants that you want to replace to community gardens, parks and schools.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace, save your ashes instead of throwing them away. Once cooled, wood ashes can be mixed into your compost heap and provide nutrients to your garden.

Here are a few more helpful resources with guidance on efficient yard waste management:


Milton is partnering with Black Earth to give residents a 30% density discount with 300 subscribers in town! Weekly pickups are currently $14.99 per month, and $80 per six months after the discount. The next density discount threshold is 600 subscribers, where the rates will drop another 15%!

Milton Count: 300 Black Earth subscribers as of 10/4/2023.

Bootstrap Compost is offering curbside composting along with clean bucket services for $24/month. Sign up with the code COMPOSTCURIOUS2023 and receive your first month free! After November 1st, your Milton address will receive the $6/pickup rate. Current subscriber rates will change to $6/pickup as well.

Compost is an easy way to reduce kitchen scraps, create natural fertilizer, and reduce methane emissions. You can compost at home, or have Black Earth or Bootstrap pick it up and bring back your bucket.

Here's some tips on composting at home. Remember, the DPW makes compost bins available to Milton Residents at wholesale prices. Residents can purchase an Earth Machines composter at the Treasurer's Office at Town Hall for $55. The composters will then be available for pickup at the Milton DPW Yard (629 Randolph Avenue) on the following Thursday.

Here is a video about how to use the Earth Machine or other home compost bins. Note: This video is borrowed with permission from the City of Vancouver, BC, Canada. The video states the price of the Earth Machine for Vancouver residents. In Milton, the Earth Machine is $55.