According to the U.S. EPA, up to 70% of the municipal solid waste stream is made up of organic material. OCSWM can help businesses, institutions, and individuals "starve the landfill and feed the soil" by composting their organic wastes including yard waste and kitchen scraps.
Compost Demonstration Sites
There are two outdoor composting demonstration sites located in Orange County where you can learn more about outdoor composting and observe in it "in action":
- Chapel Hill Community Center (behind the rose garden) on South Estes Drive.
- Orange County Solid Waste Management Administrative Office, 1207 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.
Orange County Solid Waste teaches public composting classes at the demonstration sites listed above at least four times per year, twice in the spring and fall. These classes teach the basics or indoor composting using worms, and outdoor composting using a variety of recipes and structures.
OCSWM can provide outdoor composting instruction at the demonstration sites for your organization or classroom group with at least 6 adults. We can also help set up and teach outdoor composting to function on location for interested organizations, schools or businesses. I
Visit the Composting Resources page for more information about home composting.
Indoor composting, also known as vermicomposting, or composting with worms, provides an relatively easy and accessible way for anybody to reduce organic waste by composting fruit and vegetable scraps using a wormbin indoors.
Vermicomposting demonstrations are available for school, civic, or faith-based groups. Participants will learn about Nature's recycling of nutrients through decomposition, investigate the anatomy and function of worms in soil, and other scientific concepts such as soil composition, basic chemical components, and soil ecosystem diversity. We can even build an indoor composting wormbin on-site for your classroom or organization!
Compost Bins for Sale (PDF)
Cost: $50 cash or check only
Orange County Solid Waste Administration
1207 Eubanks Road Chapel Hill, 27516
Their operating hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 5p.m.
Make rich crumbly compost at home with your yard waste, brown leaves, and kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps. To learn more about the "Earth Machine" outdoor composting unit that we sell, visit the Earth Machine website.
Compost Collection at Special Events in Orange County
In some cases OCSWMD can provide organic waste diversion for composting at larger public events in Orange County. Level of OCSWMD involvement depends on the notice given, commitment of the organizer, contact with food vendors to ensure they are using compostable serving ware, and quality and volume of organic waste that will be produced at the event.
For smaller public and private events, organic waste collection consultation services are available from OCSWMD staff at no cost. OCSWMD can further assist with organics waste diversion if the event organizer agrees to serve only on compostable and / or recyclable serving ware (see the Waste Diversion Vendor Guidelines (PDF)), have people assigned to monitor the compost collection to keep it free of plastic and metal contamination, and lastly can bring the compostable material to an agreed upon compost drop-off location, possibly one of our Commercial Organics Collection Program participants.
Public Food Drop-off
There is one public food waste drop-off located at the Walnut Grove Church Road Solid Waste Convenience Center available to residents that can accept post-consumer event waste. View Convenience Centers serving Orange County.
This is not your backyard compost. Post-consumer food waste should go to a commercial composting company to be safely made into healthy soil additives.