Montclair Home Composting Program

Home Composting Program Promotes Healthy Yard Care and Gardening

The Township of Montclair supports backyard composting by providing free written information to residents on how to successfully compost leaves, grass clippings, yard trimmings, garden prunings and certain kitchen scraps.

For further information, residents can always call the Montclair Compost Information Telephone Hotline, ("The Rotline”), at (973) 509-5721, anytime, to receive an answer to their questions within 24 hours (often immediately, usually within 8 hours).

In addition to “how-to” information, any resident can purchase a low-cost home compost bin, “The Earth Machine”, from the Office of Environmental Affairs simply by calling (973) 509-5721 to schedule a pick-up. The Earth Machine is the most popular backyard compost bin sold in North America, and normally retails for around $110. The Dept. of Community Services and the Office of Environmental Affairs acquire the bins by the pallet, and therefore can sell them to Montclair residents, at cost, for only $57.

Finally, the Environmental Affairs office usually hosts an annual Compost GiveBack in the fall, enabling residents to pick up free professionally-made compost, supplied by Nature’s Choice, the commercial composting company contracted by the Township to collect all residential leaves and grass clippings that are left at the curb (only in biodegradable brown paper yard waste bags, available from the Dept. of Community Services, 219 No. Fullerton Avenue, 973-509-5711).

Those leaves and grass, collected curbside, are taken out-of-town to Nature’s Choice’s large-scale facility where they are composted to create a healthy, nutrient-rich soil amendment, which they sell to landscapers and nurseries. Nature’s Choice generously donates a large truck-full of their “black gold” to Montclair for this special event.

At the Compost GiveBack, participants also may buy the low-cost bins, attend free hands-on composting demonstrations, and learn about a wide-range of healthy and environmentally-sustainable backyard and gardening tips from several local and regional groups at information stations and hand-out tables.Those tips include:

  • how to reduce your impacts on stormwater runoff pollution by using less pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers;
  • how to make your backyard a welcome habitat for birds and butterflies;
  • simple steps to grow and maintain beautiful, healthy lawns by proper seeding and feeding, reducing chemicals, mowing correctly, and grass cycling;
  • solving weed or bug problems through integrated pest management;
  • simple tips about organic gardening;
  • being water-wise in your yard and garden by proper plant selection, effective watering, and xeriscaping;
  • the many benefits of native plants;
  • find out about the many ways yard care affects our health and environment, and how we can easily reduce the impacts while renewing our enjoyment and love of gardening.

For further information, please call Gray Russell anytime at (973) 509-5721.