Compost Program

Accordian table

Compost Availability

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).         

Compost Program History

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 new 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’ windrows. 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's In Our Compost?

View the latest Compost Analysis Report from the Agricultural Analytical Services Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University. Borough compost has a Carbon:Nitrogen ration of approximately 16:1 and an organic matter content (dry weight basis) of 50-60%, which is desirable for most compost uses.

Other Information on Composting Programs in the Borough

Consider Grass-cycling
Grass clippings that are left on your lawn do provide valuable nutrients to your yard. Make sure to mow weekly or bi-weekly and to remove no more than one third of the leaf tissue. This will allow clippings to break down more rapidly and prevent bagging.

Home Composting Information
Would you like to home compost on a residential lot? Call the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority at (814) 238-6649 for home composting information or visit their website at

Leaf Collection
Beginning the last week of September and continuing each week through December 15, Borough crews collect leaves as part of the Borough’s fall cleanup program. Residents should pile their leaves within 5’ of the curb. At the end of the fall collection program, leaves will not be collected again until spring. Leaves will NOT be collected with the regular refuse.

Spring’s leaf collection program generally begins the first full week of April and lasts through mid-May.

Residents are reminded not to place leaves in bags, not to rake leaves into the street, and not to place twigs, brush and other items with the leaves. Leaves in bags will not be collected! Raking leaves into the street creates a traffic hazard and causes street flooding by clogging inlets during rainfall.

It is appreciated if residents do not park cars in front of leaf piles since this slows down the leaf collection crews.

Why Compost?

Composting is a natural form of recycling. Yard waste, including leaves and grass clippings, makes up approximately 30% of the waste stream in the United States. This means of disposal for most yard wastes not only takes up valuable landfill space, but it is not environmentally or economically sound.

Yard waste that is landfilled breaks down very slowly due to the lack of oxygen. Whereas, composting would break down leaves and grass into compost within 3 months. Composting this material reduces the amount that would go to a landfill and at the same time provides a nutrient- rich soil amendment.

Compost added to gardens improves soil structure, texture, aeration, and water retention. When mixed with compost, clay soils are lightened, and sandy soils retain water better. Mixing compost with soil also contributes to erosion control, soil fertility, and healthy root development in plants.

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

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