Skip navigation


Every year Denver residents throw out tons of food and yard waste that could have been turned into beneficial compost. There are now several ways you can not only help reduce the organic waste from your household in the City and County of Denver, but also reap the benefits as well.


Discover Denver Composts!


Denver Composts is a fee-based service paid for by the resident at the rate of $29.25 each quarter (every 3 months). Be advised, this service is not seasonal. If you want to cancel service, contact  Solid Waste Management  prior to the beginning of the next quarter to avoid being charged for future quarters. See "Compost Collection Frequently Asked Questions" for details.


Benefits of Composting

Composting is one way to keep organic material out of landfills, avoiding climate warming gases generated as these materials decay under anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions to create methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent in its heat-trapping capabilities than carbon dioxide.

Because methane is so much more damaging than CO2, the benefits of composting organic material far outweigh the environmental “costs” of collecting, hauling and processing organic material with trucks and equipment that burn fuel.

  • Organic material like food, yard debris and soiled paper makes up about 58% of what Denver residents send to the landfill.
  • The U .S. sent 25 million tons of food waste to landfills in 2005 — the greenhouse gas impact of composting this mass would be the equivalent of removing 7.8 million passenger cars from the road.

Using Compost

Composting is nature’s way of recycling and returning valuable organic matter and nutrients to the soil to be used again. It can be used for gardens, lawns and even houseplants, to conserve moisture and add nutrients to help plants thrive.

  • Incorporating compost into the soil can help to increase the soil's ability to retain moisture and reduce the need for fertilizers, herbicide or fungicide on farms, gardens and landscaping.
  • Compost increases infiltration and permeability of heavy soils, thus reducing erosion and runoff.
  • Compost can retain 100% of its weight in water and is an important component of gardening in a drought.

If your neighborhood isn't yet eligible to participate in Denver Composts, you can help keep organic material out of landfills by composting in your own backyard.

Learn more about how to get started »



Denver 311 Help Center Call 3-1-1
Outside Denver Call 720-913-1311
Emergencies: 911 
TTY Service: 720-913-8479

Learn to Compost Classes


Grasscycling ad

Educational Resources

For a more in depth look at the environmental benefits of using compost in landscaping and agriculture, and facts on composting and greenhouse gas reductions, visit the following links:


  • Composting Council
  • Cool 2012
  • GrassRoot Recycling Network
  • Denver Water - Class I & II Compost Suppliers
  • Compost Council
  • EPA - Composting
  • Home Composting Guide