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Municipal Solid Waste Generation by Material - EPA 2013

Approximately 28% of the waste that Nashville residents create each year is food and yard waste that could be composted! Composting is nature's way of recycling food and yard waste. It is a process that naturally occurs when organic materials are returned to the soil through decomposition. By composting at home, you help keep food waste out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Compost and your Garden

Using compost in your garden improves the structure and fertility of garden soil. It makes clay soil drain better, and it makes sandy soil hold more water. Compost adds nutrients to the soil and provides a source of good bacteria. This home-grown additive will bring your soil to a neutral pH and help prevent plant diseases.

How to Compost Food and Yard Waste in your Backyard

Composting Indoors

If you live in an apartment or other small space, have very limited outdoor space, or want to compost at work, then worm composting is for you. Composting with worms, or vermiculture, is a simple, natural way to create your own fertilizer using food waste, and it can be done indoors.

Get your Composting Questions Answered

Email your questions on backyard composting to Metro's recycling coordinator.

Backyard Compost Bins Available from Metro Beautification

To encourage backyard composting, Metro Beautification/Public Works has compost bins and supplies available at our Omohundro Convenience Center.

Omohundro Convenience Center
1019 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Payment may be made in cash or by check (payable to Metro Public Works)

All sales are FINAL. No returns or exchanges.

If you have questions about the appropriateness of the composting bin for your situation, please read the compost information on this website before making your final selection.

Find a Commercial Composting Company

Interested in commercial composting for your business? Search the national database of compost companies.

Earth Machine Compost Bin

The Earth Machine compost bin

The Earth Machine compost bin is available for $50 (price includes tax). This 80-gallon capacity bin is made of recycled plastic and has a screw-on lid. Perfect for composting leaves, lawn & garden clippings and vegetarian food scraps (no meat, fat or bones). Instruction booklet included.

Green Cone Digester

Green cone digester

Currently there is a limited supply of Green Cone digesters. Please call 615-880-1955 for availability.

Perfect for anyone who wants to dispose of their food scraps in their own yard, but doesn't want to make compost. This is a food scrap digester. Food waste placed in the Green Cone is digested by naturally occurring microbes and decomposers found in the soil. This composter accepts ALL FOOD WASTE, including meat and bones! The photo shows the Green Cone placed in a raised bed. See how the Green Cone works. Cost is $110.

Compost Pile Temperature

Compost thermometer

How hot is your compost pile? Find out by using a compost thermometer. Place the 20” thermometer stem into your compost pile to find out if it is in the steady (80-100 degrees F), active (100 – 130 degrees F) or hot (130 – 160 degrees F) zone! Comes with a composting guide to help you interpret the temperature readings. Sold at cost, $15.

Kitchen composting container

Kitchen Containers

Need a way to collect kitchen scraps? We have plastic kitchen containers available for $10.

School Composting

Sylvan Park composting bin

School Composting information

Schools are eligible to receive free and/or loaner compost bins.

milk in gallon jugs with "best if used by..." dates stamped on them

Food Waste in America

Forty percent of the food produced in America never gets eaten! Learn more and find ways to reduce your food waste: