ROC City Compost Pilot Program


 What is composting?                                                                                                                                                                                                               ROC City Compost Top Logo (2)

Composting is the practice of separating organic waste (food waste and more) from regular land-fill bound household garbage so that it can be processed into a nutrient-rich material (compost) that can improve soil quality. After preparing or enjoying a meal, food scraps from your plate and cutting board (and more) can go into a compost bin provided by the City. By separating your food scraps at home, you are helping to send less waste to the landfill and instead recycle it into compost so that we can create a healthier environment for everyone.  

Why compost?

Rochester’s Community-wide Climate Action Plan recommends the implementation of an organics collection and composting program to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and, as a result, reduce landfill greenhouse gas emissions (methane) that worsen climate change. Through composting, food scraps can be turned into nutrient-rich soil that can be used for gardening and potting household plants that filter oxygen in our homes.  The ROC City Compost Pilot program is part of the City’s larger Food Waste Reduction, Donation and Organics Recycling Program. The City of Rochester believes that “Food Is Treasure” and that we can turn “trash” into treasure. Learn more about the City’s Food Waste Prevention, Donation and Organics Recycling program and “Food Is Treasure” Food Waste Education Guide here.

 How does the ROC City Compost Pilot program work?

UPDATE: The ROC City Compost Pilot program has reached capacity and is no longer accepting new sign-ups. Thank you to all those who signed up to participate in the pilot. We look forward to seeing you at one of the weekly drop-off locations.                                         

 Drop-off locations and schedule:

Once you have signed up for the program and received your toolkit of materials, starting on July 14 and July 17 you may drop-off your food waste at the following locations and times on a weekly basis.     

 Cobbs Hill Park

 Parking lot by Lake Riley Lodge

 100 Norris Dr. Map

Saturdays 9am-noon

Wednesdays 1-4pm

Genesee Valley Park

 Parking lot by Sports Complex

131 Elmwood Ave. Map

 Saturdays 1-4pm

Wednesdays 9am-noon  

Click here to download the ROC City Compost Flyer. 



What goes in the compost bin

  What does not go in the compost bucket

For more info on the City's recycling program click here.   

 What are some things that I can do to keep my bucket clean

Composting FAQs #2

 1. Where does our food waste go after it is picked up? Who is processing the food scraps? What is being done with the compost? 

A: The food waste generated from our program is brought by our waste hauler (Impact Earth) to a vermicomposting facility (worm farm) called Organix Green Industries located in Seneca Castle NY.  Once the food scraps are recycled into compost, ROC City Compost will give back a portion of the compost to participants. More information about the compost giveback will be posted on the webpage

2. If this program is successful, will it result in citywide pick up compost?

A: It depends on the results of the one-year drop-off pilot program. Based on the outcome of the pilot, we may consider expanding the drop-off to more locations. After that, we may consider the feasibility of curbside pick-up.  Other factors such as funding availability and interest from a broader participant base would determine how the program can expand.

3. If we have more compost than what fills our City-issued bucket, can we bring that compost in an extra bucket to drop-off?

A: Yes

4. Can drop-off locations be added and can the hours of drop-off be adjusted?

A: Based on the outcome of the pilot program and feedback from participants and the public, we will consider adding locations and adjusting hours.  

5. How long will the ROC City Compost Program last?

A: The program will run through July, 2022.

6. The Do(s) and Don’t(s) section states that fat and oil cannot be composted – what exactly does that mean? Can I compost food that is baked or cooked with fat & oil?

A: This just means that we do not want you to compost large quantities of fat or oil such as a quart of used cooking oil. It is OK to compost anything baked or cooked in or with oil and fat or paper towels used to wipe off oil and fat

7. Can I compost yard waste?

A: Yes, you can compost plants and vegetable stalks, however, any yard waste that is more appropriate for leaf pick-up should be designated for leaf pick-up. To learn more about the City’s Fall Leaf Collection, visit:

8. How much compost tonnage has the program generated so far? Will the City be implementing some kind of dashboard so that participants can see the progress as the program moves along?

A: As of October 28, 2021, ROC City Compost collected 25 tons of food waste. More updates will be posted on the webpage at

Stay tuned!

 Composting Webinar Series

The City of Rochester has partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County to provide a webinar series.

Webinar 1: Why Compost? (Link to zoom recording)

Webinar 2: Basics of Composting (Link to zoom recording)

Webinar 3: Compost FAQs (Link to zoom recording)

Webinar 4: What to do with compost (Link to zoom recording)

Webinar 5: Food Waste Education (Link to zoom recording)

Webinar 6: Compost Past & Future (Link to zoom recording)

Visit to learn more about the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County’s composting resources.

 CCE Monro County Logo


Email us your questions here!


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