Organics/Compost Collection

Information about Organics/Compost Collection Program

  • Organics recycling is an optional cart-based program.
  • Organic materials carts are for the recycling of food waste and any yard waste that will fit in the cart, including grass clippings and hedge clippings.
  • Loose leaves can be placed in the cart for collection before and after the normal leaf collection seasons.
  • No materials will be collected from the ground except brush larger than 2 inches diameter and loose leaves during spring and fall leaf collection seasons.
  • The grass drop off locations has been removed from the five parks since the grass will now be collected curbside.
  • Organics collection is a recycling service and, as such, is available for curbside pickup only.
  • When organics carts are delivered, a kitchen collector is also delivered for the daily collection of kitchen organics.
  • It is not necessary to bag organic material before placing it in the cart.
  • If you choose to bag your organic material, please use only compostable bags since other bags will contaminate the finished compost material.
  • Yard waste can be dropped off at the Glenn O. Hawbaker Recycling Center on Hawbaker Industrial Drive for a fee.

Need More Information?

If you have questions about the State College Borough’s Composting/Organics Program please call (814) 234-7140 or (814) 234-7135.

About the Program

For years, State College Borough collected grass clippings along with household refuse and hauled it all to the Centre County transfer station. It was then transported to the County’s landfill site for disposal. Beginning in May 1991, the Borough launched a grass recycling program to divert lawn clippings from the landfill, saving valuable landfill space.

This program meshed nicely with the Borough’s leaf collection program already in place. Leaves are collected in the fall and stockpiled at the Borough’s Compost Facility off of North Atherton Street in Patton Township. Borough employees used a front-end loader to turn the leaf piles two or three times a year. This unsophisticated system took approximately two years to generate compost.

Grass clippings were collected from five drop-off sites located in the Borough, mixed with the leaves and piled in 1000’ windows. The grass/leaf combination was mixed to a 1:3 grass-to-leaves ratio and is turned three times a week with a compost turner. The additional nitrogen content of the leaves sped up compost production; instead of two years, compost was considered finished in approximately nine to ten weeks.

The Borough then implemented a food waste or organics recycling pilot program in the Greentree and Tusseyview neighborhoods as well as at a few commercial locations. The program was then expanded Borough-wide to residential customers.

All of the Borough’s finished compost is screened to remove most contaminants and large clumps before it is made available to residents.

What Can I Put in My Curbside Organics Cart?

Acceptable Materials

  • Fats and Oil
  • Meat and Bones
  • All Fish and Seafood, including shells
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Eggs and Egg Shells
  • Milk, Cheese, and all other Dairy Products (1 pint maximum)
  • Bread and Grains
  • Coffee and Tea Grounds and Filters
  • Condiments (salad dressing, ketchup, etc.)
  • Grass Clippings
    • Grass-Cycling: Residents are strongly encouraged to leave their grass clippings on the lawn as mulch. Clippings serve as an additional fertilizer source and help conserve water during dry months. Grasscycling also takes significantly less time.

  • Leaves (During the Off-Season)
  • Vines and Weeds
  • Old Garden Plants or House Plants Free of Soil
  • Wood Material under 2” Diameter such as Twigs, Wood Chips, Un-dyed Mulch, or Sawdust
  • Wood BBQ Skewers
  • Uncoated Paper Plates
  • Paper Napkins, Paper Towels, Bags and Table Covers
  • Greasy Pizza Boxes
  • Wet Newspaper
  • Plastic Bags Labeled "Compostable"

Unacceptable Materials

  • Pet Waste
  • Noxious Weeds
  • Noxious Plants (e.g. Walnuts)
  • Products Soiled with Cleaning Chemicals
  • Rocks and Concrete
  • Construction Materials (lumber)
  • Petroleum-based Plastics of Any Kind
  • Non-compostable Plastic Bags
  • Any Plastic Bags or Other Products that Say “Degradable” or Any Version of the Word, Including “Bio-degradable” and “Oxo-degradable,” unless also marked "Compostable"
  • Plastic Coated Paper Products (e.g. Tetra-paks, Milk Containers, Some Paper Plates and Ice Cream Cartons)
  • Large Tree Limbs (>2" in Diameter)
  • Loose Soil/Sod

Compost Pick Up for Borough Residents

State College Borough residents may pick up bulk finished compost (unbagged) at the Service Facility located at 330 South Osmond Street. The finished compost is under the canopy of the fuel island. Please keep access to the fuel island and equipment wash bay open while loading containers. Please do not use this site as a drop-off location for grass or brush.

Borough residents can purchase compost to be delivered in 3 cubic yard loads.

Compost Delivery Form...

Compost may be purchased by bag or bulk at the Glenn O. Hawbakers Recycle Center (retail fees may differ from Borough fees).         

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