Organics Recycling



Dear Resident!

The City of Laurel is committed to finding ways to help residents live by the three R’s of recycling – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  With that in mind, Mayor Craig A. Moe has asked the Department of Public Works to initiate a pilot program for organics recycling.  Public Works has purchased small kitchen composting containers, with a charcoal filter to reduce odors, compostable bags for the kitchen container and an outside composting toter with a locking lid. 

There are many benefits to organics recycling – beyond reducing landfill waste.  The organics collected from your homes during this pilot program will be converted into organic compost.  Organic compost, reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, many of which can be harmful to the environment (and to the fish, animals and humans that live in it); enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests and reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint. 

The City of Laurel and Mayor Craig A. Moe would like to invite you to be a part of this NEW organics recycling program and help reduce wasted food and turn it into a valuable and environmentally safe resource.  Residents can volunteer for this program by contacting the Department of Public Works by email at [email protected] or by calling (301)725-0088. The first 200 residents that volunteer to participate in this program will receive a free curbside composting toter, a small kitchen composting toter, compostable bags as well as clear instructions as to what can be put in your composting toter.  We have a limited number of containers, so reserve your spot as soon as possible.  Collections will begin Wednesday, August 7, 2019. 

We appreciate you being part of the City of Laurel’s efforts to reduce waste brought to landfills by participating in our NEW organics recycling program. 


Mayor Craig A Moe Signature

Mayor Craig A. Moe

How to do Organics Recycling and Composting with the City



If you want to volunteer for the Organics Recycling and Composting pilot program please call the Department of Public Works at 301-725-0088 or send an email to [email protected] and let us know:

  • Your Name       
  • Your Address         
  • Your Phone Number         
  • Your email addresss


The City will deliver to your address:         

  • One Green 2-Gallon counter-top composting bin with filter         
  • One Beige/Brown 35-Gallon outdoor composting toter         
  • Ten 3-Gallon bioldegradeable composting bags (As you run out of organics recycling bags contact Public Works for more.  Do NOT use plastic bags for composting).  If you want to purchase your own larger bags you can purchase them from MES approved Venders.
  • An Information packet on what is and is not compostable.


Organics Recycling will be picked up on  Wednesdays starting on August 7, 2019.

When you receive your composting containers you will need to do some assembly. Place the smell-reducing filter in the lid of your 2-gallon counter-top bin.  Attach the lid to the container. Place one 3-Gallon composting bag into your bin to keep your bin clean. As the bags become full,place them in your 35-gallon beige composting container.   Once a week on Wednesdays place your beige composting container at the curb-side for pickup.  

What is Compostable?


 Fuits and Vegetables  Dairy Products - Milk, butter, cheese - No containers!
 Bread, pasta, grains (no raw dough)  Seafood (including shellfish)
 Eggs and Egg Shells  Paper Towels, Napkins - kitchen only
 Coffee grounds and filters (no "Keurig style" cups)  Paper plates - only uncoated or compostable
 Tea bags - loose tea  Food-soiled newspaper
 Meat (including bones)  Pizza boxes - clean or "greasy"
 Corrugated fruit and vegetable boxes  Paper bags (uncoated) with or without food scraps
 Paper icecream containers  Leftover and spoiled food
 Compostable bags  Approved compostable tableware
 Grass and Leaves (no sticks or branches)  Animal hair and dryer lint



Leaping Bunny Products

Cleaning products with the Leaping Bunny logo are organic and paper towels used with these products CAN be put in your composting container.


What is not Compostable?

There are a few compostable things we are not accepting in our composting and a few non-compostable items you might think are compostable but are not. Please do NOT put the following in your Organics Recycling and Composting containers:

  • Yard Debris.  Please request a Yard Debris pickup. 
  • Animal feces.
  • Paper plates, paper cartons, and paper containers with a thin waxy or plastic lining. 
  • Paper Towels used for cleaning with chemical cleaning products.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you put things loose into your beige container?  Yes, but we do not recommend it.  Larger things like greasy pizza boxes may be OK, but small messy things like watermelon rinds and crab shells may not.  We can’t guarantee every scrap will shake out cleanly and your container could become smelly and dirty if you do not use the bio-bags.  One option is to use a large paper yard debris bag  inside your container or you can purchase 35-gallon compostable bags on-line if you want to put items straight into the larger container.  Public Works can give you some brands that are acceptable at our composting facility.
  • Should you lock the container on pickup day?  Yes! The lock is meant to keep critters out of your container.  Our laborers will unlock the container when they do the pickup.
  • Do I have to put my container out every Wednesday?  Whatever works best for you!  You can put it out every Wednesday or wait until it is mostly full.  We will stop by every Wednesday to check for your container regardless. 
  • Can dog hair and cat hair go into the composting container? Yes!!   In addition to the hair – dryer lint is also acceptable -- never would have guessed that one.
  • How do I get more composting bags?  You can send us an email or give us a call and we'll be glad to get more bags delivered to you.  You can also purchase your own bags online so long as you make sure they are biodegradable bags.
  • How do I get a replacement filter for my countertop can?  The filters provided last for 3 months.  The first replacement filter will be provided by the City, just give us a call or an email and we will deliver it.  Replacement filters after this can be bought at hardware stores and cut to fit your container.
  • Do you still have room for more people to sign up?  Yes! We’re a bit more than half full, so if you have any neighbors or friends in the City who may want to do organics recycling, please send them our way!


Notable Composters

The City of Laurel welcomed its first commercial business to the composting program in November 2019.  Laurel TV did a feature on this restaurant!


Maryland Environmental Services

Our organics collections are taken to Maryland Environmental Services based in Prince George's County where it is turned into compost. 


Composting Containers

The City's own Mayor Moe found a very nice double-wide kitchen refuse and composting container available on Amazon

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Public Works

The Department of Public Works provides refuse and recycling collection, city infrastructure management and maintenance, snow and ice removal, and quick and effective responses to inclement weather damage.