Coming Soon: Changes to Food Composting and Yard Waste

On December 17, 2020,  Media Borough Council voted to expand the Media Borough Food Waste Collection and Compost Pilot Project to a borough-wide program. The program is tentatively scheduled to begin in July 2021. Borough residents can opt to have their food scraps collected once a week and composted by Kitchen Harvest, a compost farm located on the grounds of Linvilla Orchards, which is owned and operated by Chris Pieretti. Until July, the Compost Pilot will continue at its current size.  

The Composting Pilot Program is an initiative of the Borough Council, the Environmental Advisory Council (a seven-member body appointed by the Council), and Transition Town Media. In May 2018, the borough launched the pilot program in partnership with Kitchen Harvest to gauge the feasibility of adding food scrap collection to our current recycling efforts. Initially, 100 participants separated food from the rest of their household waste, using the program’s bright yellow buckets for the weekly collection. In year two of the pilot, an additional 120 households joined the program. 

In the more than two years the pilot has operated, nearly 80 tons of food waste have been diverted from the trash stream, creating nutrition-rich composted soil that can be worked back into the land for new food production. Sixteen yards of this finished compost was made available to borough residents for free during the pilot. Participant surveys for the program have been overwhelmingly positive, and most respondents said they reduced the volume of their trash by at least 25%. The program has been a win/win for both the environment and for residents.

The more households involved in the borough-wide compost program, the more food waste is diverted from the trash stream. Instead of banana peels and apple cores ending up in the Covanta incinerator, those food scraps will undergo a carefully monitored composting process that will result in fully matured compost that can be used as a soil amendment. Food grown out of that soil (often locally) is then repurposed into compost by a local business (Kitchen Harvest in this case), and contributes to the local economy by acting as a source to grow more food, thus perpetually using and re-using what was once waste. Additionally, the program allows Media residents to participate in a closed-loop system where products or food scraps are continuously reused and repurposed. 

Along with the expansion of the Compost Program, the yard waste program will expand pick-up from once a month to once a week. You may put out your food scrap bucket the same day you put out your yard waste and they will be collected together. In order to make this affordable to the borough, we ask that you put yard waste out on the street ONLY on the correct day, storing it in your yard until then.   


Tentatively in July, Media residents will be able to pick up a yellow compost bucket from the Media Borough Office, 301 N. Jackson Street, 2nd floor between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday. If unable to pick up a bucket during those hours, you may contact Karen at 610-566-5210, ext. 239. Every yellow compost bucket must have your address written in indelible marker on the lid. Buckets should be filled with food scraps left-over from meals, refrigerators, and storage cleanings during the week. NO meat or dairy products should be placed in the bucket. For more information on permitted foods, please see the list provided at the end of this article. 

Most people keep a small one-quart container next to or under the sink to collect scraps as they work in the kitchen. At the end of the day, they deposit the smaller container contents into the yellow compost bucket, which they keep outside, on the back porch, or where they keep their trash cans. On Wednesday morning, put your bucket out for pickup by 6 am along with any yard waste you want picked up (you might want to put it out the night before). Make sure the lid is tightly sealed. Food and yard waste will be collected that day, and your bucket will be ready for more scraps (now is a good time to rinse it out). The borough website provides a helpful FAQ containing answers to questions pilot participants have asked over the past two years of the pilot.

By joining the program, you are reducing your trash by 25-30%, and recycling food waste into compost to revitalize soil that in turn produces more healthy food. It is a win-win-win for the environment and for us all. If you have any questions you can direct them to the Media Borough Composting Committee, (email:

Thank you!


Thanks to Swarthmore student Hope Elizabeth Darris for her work on this article.