ROC City Compost Program

Free registration for new participants is open for a limited time. Please register here.

Please note: to be eligible, you must be a Rochester resident and only one member per household may register. A City staff member will contact you to confirm registration and next steps.
New and existing participants can choose to drop-off food waste at any of the three locations at Maplewood Park, Cobbs Hill Park and Genesee Valley Park. For details, see Drop-off locations and schedules section below.

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 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 program work?                     

Drop-off locations and schedule:

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

Maplewood Park (new)

Parking lot by Maplewood Rose Garden

250 Maplewood Ave, Rochester, NY 14613 

Tuesdays 9am - 2pm

 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  


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.   

  Keep bucket clean revised image

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. Check back here for updates about the compost giveback.

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

A: Based on the outcome of the one-year pilot, we are considering expanding the drop-off to a new location that will be announced soon. In the future, 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. 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.

6. 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:

7. 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 February 2024, ROC City Compost collected 294 tons of food waste.


 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