Did you know that compost has been produced for tens of thousands of years since the Stone Age and can be created at home by you too?

You don’t need a big machine or a lot of space to compost organic matter. The beauty of composting is that it can be done by anyone and at any scale!

Summary of at-home composting methods

Here are some resources to get you started in your own home:

  • The US EPA provides a great, quick overview on creating a compost pile at home and additional specifics about composting in both outdoor and indoor spaces.
  • For more detailed information, check out the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s webpage or webinar on home composting basics which cover how to separate and collect organic residuals, options for containers/bins, and information on how to maintain your composting system, and finally how to apply your compost.
  • No backyard? No problem! Learn the basics of composting with worms, or vermicomposting, ideal for indoor spaces. Also check-out this fun how-to video featuring Office of Sustainability Director, Dr. Shana Weber


The University’s food scraps composting program consists of:

  • Organics Diversion – the University contracts with this organics recycler to pick-up food scraps and (otherwise unrecoverable/unable to be donated) leftover food from the residential dining halls and sends them to an anaerobic digestion facility down the road in Trenton, NJ
  • S.C.R.A.P. Lab – our on-campus composter services the University’s retail dining operations (Frist Campus Center and campus cafes), and several other locations on campus.


The Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Extension Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension has additional information on home composting, backyard leaf composting, and vermicomposting

Need help?

Contact your county’s Master Gardener representative or your state’s agriculture extension office. Link to Rutgers Master Gardener Helpline 


Find local resources through the U.S. Composting Council’s list of state resources.