Compost pickup in Media PA

The Borough of Media PA will begin weekly collection of kitchen scraps from homes throughout the borough to reduce waste, create compost, and reuse the compost in local gardens in the community.


CASE STAGE: Design stage
LOCATION: Media, Pennsylvania (USA)


We are working with the Borough government to help reduce the residential trash load by instituting weekly kitchen scrap pickup in the borough. The twice-weekly trash pickup will be reduced to once/week, adding a once/week kitchen scrap pickup. The goal is to reduce trash tonnage by a third while making the program cost-neutral. Our Transition Town (TTM) is helping plan the project and will also be engaged in educational activities to help the public understand the value of participating in the program. The value includes all the environmental aspects – reducing waste, saving GHG emissions and energy consumption – and also creates nutrient-rich soil for use in growing local food in home and community gardens as well as local farms, helping our soil regenerate. It also supports local green jobs because the compost processing will be done at a local farm by local employees. Our principal contribution to this project has been to make sure its impact is as broad as possible – not just waste reduction, as the Borough government originally envisioned, but also encouraging more local food production and soil improvement by selling the compost at a discount to participants, using local workers to process the compost, and educating the borough residents about the benefits of recycling their food waste.

We have just released a survey to borough residents to gauge the interest in composting and invite participation in the pilot program, due to begin in January 2018. Full implementation of the compost pickup is slated to begin in January 2019.


DOMAINSFood and agriculture, Raising awareness about sustainability, climate change, healthy living, environmental issues, etc., Waste management




MiT note: Recycling food waste in a transition context and collaboration with municipality. No need for phase 2. Not suitable for pilot (too specific intervention).



Sari Steuber