Milwaukee Health Department Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates: The City of Milwaukee Health Department is monitoring the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. Questions about the coronavirus? Call 2-1-1 for assistance.

Organics Collection Program (Pilot)

The organics collection pilot began collections in the fall of 2016 and will conclude on September 30th, 2020.

In 2020, the Department of Public Works (DPW) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking proposals for an organics collection and processing service that would bring organics collection City-wide over the next five years. Ultimately, contract negotiations were unsuccessful and no contract was awarded.

The City remains committed to organics diversion and may consider other opportunities to bring organics diversion services to residents in the future. As the City is not in a position to offer its own collection program at this time, we feel that it’s important to support organics diversion and the local companies who are bolstering this industry.


photo of organic materials, logos, and phrase "because what you have isn't waste"

This pilot program provides for the collection and composting of food waste and yard debris from a third, brown cart. Program participants pay a monthly fee ($12.75) for this additional, optional service.

The benefits of this type of service include

  • Convenience. Items like grass clippings that previously needed to be taken to a Drop Off Center if not handled on the property can now be collected from the home.

  • Reduce waste sent to the landfill. 3 households composting food waste for 1 year equals 1 ton of food that won't go to the landfill.

  • Create healthy soils. Compost is a wonderful, nutrient-rich, natural soil amendment.

Program Information

Program participants receive a cart for the collection of their materials, a kitchen caddy, and helpful information.

  • Acceptable Materials List. Food waste must be bagged in paper bags. Yard debris can be loose in the cart. No material outside the cart will be collected. Compostable bags and products not accepted.
    photo of brown organics cart, kitchen caddy, and program logos
  • Collection Schedule. Collection is weekly April - November and every-other-week December - March.
    • Route 1 - Tuesday (Bay View area neighborhoods)
    • Route 2 - Monday (Bay View area neighborhoods)
    • Route 3 - Wednesday (East Side area neighborhoods)
    • Route 4 - Friday (Riverwest area neighborhoods)

Material is collected by a private hauler, Compost Crusader, and is then delivered to Blue Ribbon Organics. There, the facility processes the material for 4 - 6 months. Finally, it is screened and sold as finished compost in bulk as well as in local stores.

To learn more about the results from the first year of operations, read the report or watch the presentation to Common Council.

Collection Services and Other Resources

Take advantage of these other programs, services, and information.

How-To Videos

This site is powered by the Northwoods Titan Content Management System