Backyard/On-site Composting

Home » Backyard/On-site Composting

backyard composting

Compost is decomposed organic matter, made from leaves, grass clippings, wood chips and fruit and vegetable scraps. Added to your soil or sprinkled on your yard and garden, it helps grass and plants to thrive. Unlike some fertilizers, compost will not run off your yard and pollute our creeks and waterways.


Preventing food scraps from going in the trash is not only a way to save money, but it is the law starting in 2020! The Rutland County Solid Waste District is available to help individuals and organizations set up on-site composting with consultation and workshops. Composting workshops are a great way to bring the community together to educate on best composting methods, share resources, and come up with ideas to divert food scraps from the landfill. For more information, call (802) 775-7209 or email


Composting is easy. Simply put different yard trimmings such as leaves and grass clippings in a bin or pile. You should have a mix of green material and brown material. Add water so the pile is slightly damp. Let the pile sit for 12 to 16 months.

You can add fruit and vegetable scraps and other materials as generated. Cover new kitchen scraps with leaves or bury them in the pile. If the pile dries out, add more water to keep it damp.

After 12 to 16 months, most of the material at the bottom of the pile will be dark, rich sweet-smelling compost. Sift or sort out large undecomposed materials and sprinkle the rest on your yard and garden.

For faster results, turn the pile at least once a month. The pile should reach a temperature of 130 to 160 degrees and will be ready in 6 to 9 months. The more frequently you turn the pile, the faster your compost will be ready.

What Can Be Composted?
• Grass Clippings
• Yard Trimmings (old plants, wilted flowers, small prunings)
• Leaves
• Vegetable & Fruit Scraps
• Coffee Grounds
• Tea Leaves
• Wood Chips
• Shredded Paper (Low grade paper not acceptable for recycling)

What to Avoid
• Meat, Fish and Poultry (including bones)
• Food Sauces
• Fats, Grease, and Oils
• Dairy Products
• Pet Feces
• Invasive Weeds
• Treated Wood (or any materials containing strong preservatives or toxins)
• Ashes and charcoal
• Non-organics (plastic, metal, glass, etc…)


Give Mother Nature a Hand…without lifting a finger!

Sponsored by Rutland County Solid Waste District

kitchen scrappers

SoilSaver Composter

District Customers: $40.00 (tax included)
Out of District Customers: $47.50 (tax included)
25% BIGGER than other advertised carriers!• 13 CU. FT. CAPACITY –
Large Enough for a Family of Five

• LIGHTWEIGHT – Easy to Carry –
Fits in Any Car

Large Kitchen Scrap Carrier

SIZE – 8.5″x9″x11″ H
CAPACITY – 9.6 Quarts
USAGE – Temporary Storage of Kitchen Waste
FEATURES – Generous Size, Filter, Handle
COST – $13.00/Unit Easily Hangs on Cupboard Door (from screws); $10 without filter
or sits firmly on the counter.

Small scrap carriers are $5


We also subsidize Green Cone Digesters for meat, dairy, and quicker processing of food scraps. $120 for a Green Cone ($60 below retail value!)

The SoilSaver Composter, Kitchen Scrap Carrier, and Green Cone are available year round at the RCSWD offices: 1 Smith Rd, Rutland, VT 05701.


For indoor composting without the stench!
Vermicomposting is the use of earthworms, red wiggler worms work the best, to convert organic waste into fertilizer.  There a few differences between backyard composting and vermicomposting, the obvious one being the use of worms instead of heat.  In conventional composting, the organic matters combine to create an environment suitable for micro-organisms to break them down into the brown soil that plants thrive on, also referred to as Humus.  With vermicomposting, the worms are put into a container either bought online or a DIY bin with some soil, food scraps, and bedding.  The worms eat and live in this material so there is no need to flip it every week for aeration as you would with traditional compost.  Vermicomposting also is much more nutrient rich and is concentrated with high levels of phosphorous and nitrogen.  A by-product referred to as ‘compost tea’ is produced and can be collected at the bottom of the container, diluted with water and given to plants to provide a very nutrient-rich drink.

Read from the Mother Earth News for more details on Vermicomposting. Don’t want to build your own bin? Buy one of these at a reasonable price.