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Recycling Program

Welcome to the Compost Guide

Revised On: Nov. 24, 2023 - 8:20 a.m.

Composting is the recycling of organic material — think potato peels or coffee grounds from your kitchen and trimmings from your lawn. With a little know-how, you can turn these scraps into a sort of free "fertilizer," helping plants grow. The following links can help you learn more about composting at home and get started creating your own.

For commercial composting, you will need to get notification approval | Learn More >

Why Compost?

  • The United States wastes a lot of food, with an estimated 40.67 million tons ending up in landfills, more than any other single material in our everyday trash.1
  • It's better for the environment to create compost for a landscape, plants or garden than throwing away food scraps, where they contribute to landfill emissions and take months to decompose, especially in our dry climate.2
  • Compost can add nutrients to soil, improve soil properties, improve water retention and increase yield of certain plants.3
  • There are various ways to use or share the compost you create.

Getting Started

Composting Basics | Learn More >

Organisms and Composting | Learn More >

What Can and Can't I Compost? | Learn More >

Composting How-Tos

What Can I Do With Compost?  | Learn More >

Troubleshooting | Learn More >

Couldn't find what you need? | Ask ADEQ >

1EPA: Wasted Food Measurement Methodology Scoping Memo | View >
2The Effects of Litter Quality and Climate on Decomposition Along an Elevational Gradient | View >
3Note: Different plants have different NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium) needs that may require supplementary fertilization. NPK ratios vary in home compost piles, so you may need to test your soil to determine which nutrient to supplement.