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Backyard Composting & Bins

What is compost?

Compost consists of organic materials derived from plants and some animal material that has been decomposed largely through aerobic  decomposition (with oxygen). The process of composting is simple and is practiced by individuals in their homes, farmers on their land, and by industries and cities through contracts with composting businesses.

Compost is rich in nutrients. It is used in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, and agriculture. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer to add vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil. In ecosystems, compost is useful for erosion control, land and stream reclamation and wetland construction. 

Backyard Composting Program

In an effort to provide Cuyahoga County residents with how-to-compost instructions and affordable compost bins, the Solid Waste District has introduced the Compost Seminar & Bin Sale program.  After attending a 60-minute seminar about backyard composting, you will have the opportunity to purchase a bin for your home.

The District is offering two compost bins and a kitchen collection container for sale. Check or cash sales only. All sales are final. 

  • Wishing Well Composter - $50.00
  • Ultimate Dirt Machine Digester - $50.00
  • Sure-Close Compost Pail - $5.00 
  • Yard Butler Compost Aeration Tool - $20.00

To help you decide, please refer to the compost bin reference guide.  For more information about the Compost Seminar & Bin Sale program, call (216) 443-3731 or

Wishing Well Composter
135 gallons
Ultimate Dirt Machine Digester
80 gallons
Sure-Close Compost Pail
11" W x 8-1/2" D x 9-1/5" H
1.9-gallon capacity
 Yard Bulter Aeration Tool    

2016 Compost Seminars & Bin Sales

To attend a compost seminar, please register here. If you experience problems with the online registration process, call Kathleen at (216) 443-3731.

* Registration for the Combination rain barrel and compost seminar registration is managed by Soil and Water Conservation District.  Refer questions about rain barrels to (216) 524-6580.

Saturday, April 23, 2016
10:00 a.m.
Stearns Homestead Farm, 6975 Ridge Rd, Parma

* Wednesday, May 25, 2016

6:30 p.m.
Community Center, 25325 Fairmount Blvd., Beachwood
* Combination rain barrel & compost seminar
Register with Soil and Water Conservation District.  Register with Soil and Water Conservation District. 
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Bay Village
7:00 p.m.
Police Department Community Room, 28000 Wolf Road, Bay Village

* Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Garfield Heights
6:00 p.m.
Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District
4750 East 131 Street
* Combination rain barrel & compost seminar
Register with Soil and Water Conservation District

Friday, May 6, 2016

Virgil Brown Building Neighborhood Family Service Center
1641 Payne Ave., Cleveland

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

7:00 p.m.
Women’s Pavilion, 14532 Lake Ave, Lakewood

Just Want to Buy a Compost Bin?

Bins are available for purchase at the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste Management District, 4750 East 131 Street in Garfield Heights (map).  Hours of operation are M-F 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Check or cash sales only. All sales are final.  Driving directions.

Education Specialist Kathleen Rocco presents at a Compost Seminar & Bin Sale. 

Media Coverage on Backyard Composting 

There are no recent stories at this time. 


  • I definitely benefitted from the workshop. Although I have composted for years, the information from the workshop changed my procedures and the results have been wonderful. -Robin, Cleveland Heights

  • I am so glad that I started composting my kitchen waste!!  What a great way to amend this clay soil.  Your seminar made it so easy to understand the process.  And I know you would approve of the way we have repurposed our trash cans as they now hold our potato crop.  - Ginny Haessly, Bay Village 
  • Speaking to a few residents I learned that they found the seminar very helpful and were speaking highly of the session plus the information you had provided. - Deepa, Buckeye Development Corporation

  • Thank you for conducting the Compost Seminar. I heard a lot of positive feedback! Great job!  - Jennifer Milbrandt, City of Strongsville 

Composting Guidance Documents 

The Solid Waste District has put together the following documents to help you through the composting process:

Backyard Composting
Make your own soil-enriching compost by building and maintaining a backyard compost pile with leaves, grass and other organic materials.

Learn how you can use worms to make compost from your kitchen scraps by creating your own worm bin.

Backyard Food Digester
This fact sheet covers how and whys of installing a digester, especially for small backyards that would like to reduce food waste garbage.

Free Manure 

Hot out of the barn!  County residents can kick-start their compost pile with free horse manure from the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds Horse Barns in Berea.   Bring your own container or pick up truck and tools and load the manure yourself. 
1.  Go to the horse barn area of the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds.  The speed limit around the horse area is 5 MPH for the protection of people and animals.
2.  Please check with someone at the barns first, so the horse people are aware and can guide you to which large outside manure bin you can load your containers. 

A barn in Chagrin Falls is willing to give you their manure.  Contact Frank Torres at 216-780-5348. 

If you're closer to the Cleveland Mounted Unit barn, you can ask them too.  Again, you'll need to bring your own containers and tools.

Tell Us How You're Doing! 

Once a year, the Solid Waste District will survey interested residents of Cuyahoga County to see how they're doing with their composting efforts.  Your city of residence will get a recycling credit that is reported to the Ohio EPA.  If you are doing backyard composting and would like to add your name to the list of people who are surveyed, please send an e-mail to to be added to the list.  The survey will be sent to you via e-mail early in the year.   Any helpful hints on composting can also be posted to our website for educational purposes.  Thank you in advance.  

Yard Waste Facilities in Cuyahoga County

The District maintains a list of licensed compost facilities in Cuyahoga County.