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Yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 26 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream. All of that waste can be used as compost for your yard/garden or community spaces like parks in Indianapolis. The City participates in composting organic waste in the following ways:

  • Christmas trees are chipped every year to make mulch for IndyParks landscaping.
  • Leaves collected around the City each fall are sent to South Side Composting and can be used by any Marion county resident for personal use. (2561 Kentucky Ave., 317-247-6808) 

Making your own home compost can be an economical and environmentally prudent way to deal with yard waste. The process produces material you can apply to enrich your soil and promote growth of plants and flowers. Here's how to set up home composting:

  • Build your own enclosure to a size appropriate for the amount of yard waste you deal with, or simply form a pile made up of grass clippings, dead leaves, weeds, tree prunings, etc.
  • Start with a layer of about six inches of waste.
  • Cover with one inch of top soil.
  • Repeat layers as needed, adding a small amount of lime or nitrogen fertilizer to each, if you like.
  • Make a dish-like area on the top layer and add water to make the mixture about as moist as a squeezed-out sponge.
  • Turn the whole pile over weekly, and check the natural heat it generates. The compost is ready to use when the temperature drops.

The EPA website is a good resource for additional information on home composting.