Mason-Rice Elementary Composting

The following is reprinted from Mayor Ruthanne Fuller’s email newsletter from February 28, 2020.

Mason-Rice Elementary School this week launched a food waste composting program in its cafeteria. Mason-Rice is the third school with composting, joining Angier and Zervas* where similar programs started last year.

Special thanks to Mason-Rice Principal Jake Bultema and several parents, including Heather Friedman and Wendy Sheu, and our Newton Department of Public Works for bringing composting to another school.

The food waste will be picked up at Mason-Rice twice weekly by Black Earth Compost. School recycling and food waste diversion programs are being coordinated by Newton DPW on a voluntary basis. Interested in knowing more? Contact Erica with Newton DPW at

Leftover food and food waste thrown in the garbage make up 26 percent of the weight of trash collected in Massachusetts. That not only fills landfills, it costs us a lot of money in waste disposal fees.

Instead of throwing food waste in the trash, composting turns leftover food back into soil to grow more food.

Interested in composting at your own home? You can purchase a bin for your backyard through the City for $25 here.

You can also sign up with Black Earth Composting for curbside food waste collection. Black Earth Compost, the City-vetted company residents can sign with for curbside collection, costs Newtonians $59.99 for six months, plus a one-time start-up fee of $34 to pay for a 13-gallon lockable bin. Black Earth Compost will collect your food waste once a week at the curb on the same collection day as your trash/recycling. Get more information about composting and Black Earth Compost at​ 

Stay tuned for more news on bringing your food waste for composting at the City of Newton Resource Recovery Center on Rumford Avenue. We expect this program to be up and running in the next few months.

*Underwood Elementary School has been composting in their lunchroom and classroom through a school driven initiative for the past five years.