Compost collection program gaining popularity

More than 400 residents have enrolled in a pilot curbside compost collection program the city is starting April 16. As part of the program, which is being funded by a state grant, participating households can leave out their organic food scraps for curbside collection and then receive a share of the compost generated from them. Each household will be provided with a small kitchen container to collect food scraps, and a 12-gallon wheeled cart with a hinged locking lid for the curbside pickups. The city recently selected Black Earth Compost LLC to transport and process the compost. City officials say the program will save Salem in trash disposal fees. They said for residents the program provides an alternative to home composting, which can be cumbersome in some small yards. To sign up, go to and take a survey. The pilot program is funded for one year. After that time, the city will evaluate if there is enough interest to continue it and how it might be funded going forward, according to Dominick Pangallo, chief of staff to Mayor Kimberley L. Driscoll.