Composting at Home
Composting is nature's way of recycling. Yard waste and food waste are broken down and become food for plants.
This page contains general information about composting at home, including links to the other pages related to composting.
Updated Composting Booklet Now Available!
In our newly updated waste reduction and composting booklet, we take waste reduction to a whole new level...in a very easy way. If you're interested in learning how to reduce your food and yard waste, and also learn different methods of composting, this is the booklet for you!
What is composting?
Composting is just another form of recycling. When you compost, you're tapping into the natural nutrient cycle. In nature, organic waste from plants and animals is recycled by decomposition. Composting is controlling that decomposition to speed it up and produce a stable and odorless material for plants to use.
Composting your kitchen scraps and yard waste at home can help divert material from your local landfill and provide a good quality product for use in your yard and garden. Home composting is both fun and easy to do, and does not require large investments of time, money, or effort to be successful. Read more on our Benefits of Composting page!
What about compost bins?
You don't need a compost bin to compost, but the County offers a discounted composting bin program if you want one. The bins are made by Earth Machine and are sold for $40.00 each (price includes tax). Learn more about our discounted compost bin sale.
An even less expensive approach is to simply maintain a compost pile in a remote part of your yard. You can also construct a compost enclosure from a variety of materials. Find more information in our composting booklet below.
Are other types of bins available?
Commercial composting bins are generally available at local nurseries, feed stores, garden shops, and home improvement stores. Depending on the model, costs vary from $25 to $300, though most sell in the $50 to $125 range. Check out where to buy composting bins on our Retail Compost Bins Page.
What about worm composting?
If you live in an apartment or condominium and would like to compost your kitchen scraps, you might consider vermicomposting. Vermicomposting uses red worms in a small container to convert your fruit and vegetable peelings into a nitrogen-rich compost product that is perfect for house plants and planter boxes. Read more on our Vermicomposting page.
If you live in Santa Barbara County and would like a hard copy of either booklet, contact us and we'll send you one. Please don't forget to include your mailing address!
And attend one of our free workshops
County staff holds free backyard composting workshops in the spring. Read more about them on our Compost Workshop page. Or have your composting questions answered by calling (805) 882-3618 or contacting us. Just give us a little time to respond!
You can also download our recent press release on composting and mulch here.
Where to go
- Benefits of Composting
- Business Food Scraps Collection
- Composting Workshops
- Discount Compost Bins
- Food Donation
- Food Waste Prevention
- Manure Recycling Program
- Retail Compost Bins
December 25, 2016 by Alan Nakashima
November 13, 2016 by Sam Dickinson - Recycle
November 06, 2016 by Leslie Robinson - Recycle
May 09, 2016 by Sam Dickinson - Yard Waste
December 24, 2015 by Leslie Robinson - Yard Waste
May 04, 2015 by Sam Dickinson - Yard Waste
January 28, 2015 by Sam Dickinson - Electronics
September 05, 2014 by Leslie Robinson - Food Forward
July 07, 2014 by Sam Dickinson - Food Forward
May 05, 2014 by Sam Dickinson - Food Forward
April 15, 2014 by Sam Dickinson - Food Forward
February 13, 2014 by Tom Chiarodit - Yard Waste
May 10, 2013 by Leslie Robinson - Yard Waste
May 24, 2012 by Jeff Simeon - Yard Waste
November 19, 2011 by Jeff Simeon - Yard Waste
June 13, 2011 by Jeff Simeon - Electronics
May 09, 2011 by Jeff Simeon - Yard Waste
December 01, 2010 by Jeff Simeon - Yard Waste