Composting in Leonia

Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up about 30 percent of what Americans throw away. But here in Leonia, we don’t have to be part of that statistic!

Leonia’s DPW collects yard waste every Monday from March through November. Just put your grass clippings, branches, raked leaves, brush and other plant matter out on the curb each Monday, and Leonia will collect it and compost it. But please don’t put the yard waste in plastic bags! Those can’t get composted, and the DPW won’t take them. Paper bags or reusable garbage containers are both great options.

Our DPW brings the collected yard waste to a company called Nature’s Choice that processes it into topsoil. During leaf season, the DPW dumps the leaves from its curbside collection onto a composting site behind the Borough garage. Here, the leaves get processed into topsoil by Downe’s Tree Service. Wood chips and tree logs are also dumped here to get processed into mulch. This is where Leonia get its topsoil and mulch for the Borough’s tree plantings and flower beds!

Although Leonia does not collect and process food waste (yet!) it’s pretty easy to do right in your backyard. Keeping food waste out of our landfills is a great way to keep the landfills smaller, but it’s also a fantastic way to keep our gardens happy and well-fertilized without spending money on commercial fertilizers.

Learning how to compost your food scraps does take a little research. But once you’ve got the basics, it’s very easy to maintain. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to compost at home, including photos and a 5-minute video.

Bela and Sid Seghal explaining the benefits of composting to visiting Leonians at Leonia Day

In order to get the word out about composting at Leonia Day this year, the Leonia Environmental Commission raffled off a free composter, and an intrepid middle schooler named Bela Seghal put together a fantastic presentation on how and why we should compost.

Rich Eichen, the winner of the free composter raffle at Leonia Day on May 19, 2019

And if you run into any questions as you start your new compost pile, Rutgers’s Agricultural Experiment Station has master gardeners on-hand to help.

Rutgers Master Gardener Helpline: 201-336-6783 or 201-336-6784
April – September, Monday – Thursday from 10am – 12pm

Horticultural Consultant: 201-336-6788 
Year-round, Monday – Thursday from 10am – 2pm