Wire Compost Bins

Composting Demonstration Site

Compost Demonstration Site Sign

Composting Demonstration Site

Compost Site

Composting Demonstration Site


Composting your leaves, yard & garden trimmings, and food scraps helps reduce solid waste, save tax dollars, and improve your soil.  Our free composting programs are partially funded the the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation with additional funding from the Broome County Division of Solid Waste.

Getting Started

Composting at home is easy, but you do need to understand some basic guidelines for what you can compost and how to manage the composting process. To get started we suggest reading through the Compost Resources guides. Still have questions or concerns? Feel free to call us at (607) 584-9967 ext. 151 or email us at knh36@cornell.edu

Workshops & Presentations 

Staff can conduct free workshops or presentations on composting for garden clubs, service organizations and other adult groups.  Our events are posted on this website and our Facebook page. We also offer composting and recycling activities for youth audiences, visit our Solid Waste School Programs page for information.

To schedule a program email or call Kira Hawes at knh36@cornell.edu or
(607) 584-9967 ext. 151. 

Home Composting Demonstration Site

Our home composting demonstration site, located in Cutler Botanic Gardens, features both commercial and homemade compost bins along with tips for successful composting. You can visit the site anytime between dawn and dusk. A helpful resource, Selecting A Backyard Compost Bin provides guidance on deciding what type of bin may work best for your situation.

Compost Bin Sales

The Broome County Division of Solid Waste Management has Earth Machine compost bins for sale at the Broome County Landfill at a discounted price of $45. Landfill hours are Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

For more information, call the Broome County Landfill at (607) 778-2250.

Homemade Compost Bins

Rather than purchasing a compost bin some people opt to make their own.Homemade bins range from simple and inexpensive to complex and costly. For most home composters an inexpensive bin made from repurposed shipping pallets or wire mesh is all that is needed. If you have reasonably proficient carpentry skills and don’t mind spending more, a fancy three bin turning unit may be just the ticket.

Please note that experts advise against using pressure treated lumber for compost bins.Naturally rot resistant woods like cedar, white oak or black locust are good choices, and plastic lumber is an expensive but very durable option. Find a composting system that best suites your needs with this helpful resource, Designs for Composting Systems by the Cornell Waste Management Institute.

Home Composting Resources:

Cornell Healthy Soils

Cornell Waste Management Institute 

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County

Broome County Division of Solid Waste Management

Online Composting Courses

Vermont Master Composter Course - University of Vermont Extension


Kira Hawes
Recycling/Composting Educator

Last updated February 22, 2024