Backyard Composting

Why Compost?

A key objective of the City’s Climate & Energy Action Plan is to reduce the approximately 40,000 tons of organic waste that goes to the landfill each year. Diverting waste decreases the production of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas that is produced when organic materials are landfilled. Keeping organics out of the landfills can help save our limited landfill space while producing a valuable product for farms, gardens and landscape uses.


The City of Eugene supports a variety of composting programs such as our residential curbside compost program, OSU educational programs for backyard composters, compost programs in area K-12 schools, and our Love Food Not Waste commercial food compost program. We also have handy flyers for Sustainable Gardening and Tips for Managing Leaf Waste. For a complete listing of resources to help you compost in the garden, please visit the Urban Agriculture Resources page.

How to Compost in Your Backyard

It’s easy to compost food waste and yard debris! Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Place your compost bin in a convenient location outside at least 10 feet away from property line.
  • Use a rodent proof compost bin with a tight fitting lid.
  • Start with a thick layer of leaves, wood chips, sawdust or straw (’browns"), and add food waste, coffee grounds and grass clippings ("greens") to jump start the compost process.
  • Make sure the material in your bin or pile is evenly moist and stir it occasionally to add air and restructure the mix.
  • A balanced mix of greens and browns that is evenly moist and stirred occasionally will produce soil-like humus in 6-12 months.

DIY Compost Bin Plans to Help You Get Started

Free Leaves

City leaves are a very popular material resource in Eugene. Order online between November and January, or self-haul from the Amazon or Alton Baker Community Garden location.


Free Wood Chips

Local wood chips can be self-hauled from:

  • Petersen Barn
  • 15th and Jefferson (Jefferson City Park)
  • Alton Baker near the community garden

Contact Us

  1. Waste Prevention & Green Building


    Deveron Musgrave
    Waste Prevention & 
    Green Building Analyst
    Atrium Building
    99 W. 10th Ave.
    Eugene, OR 97401
    Ph: 541-682-6842
    Fx: 541-682-5593

    Email