SALEM — The city is offering discounted home composting bins in an attempt to decrease Salem's trash production.

The bin has a capacity of 11 cubic feet — equal to about four bags of leaves — with a sliding door at the bottom for removing compost and a locking lid to keep out animals. It costs $25 for Salem residents, more than half off the usual retail price. 

To obtain a discounted bin, residents can fill out the form at www.greensalem.com/programs/compost/ and bring it to the Department of Public Services at 5 Jefferson Ave. Forms will also be available at a composting question and answer session at 10 a.m. Saturday on Salem Common, during SalemRecycles' Swap N' Drop. 

Composting essentially turns organic waste into homemade fertilizer. Composting grass clippings, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and more has been shown to help reduce a person's trash by 50%.

Residents can also sign up for curbside composting through Black Earth Compost for $9.99 a month. Black Earth will provide the bin. A drop-off bin for compost is also available at Mack Park.  

For more information visit www.greensalem.com/programs/compost/ or contact waste reduction coordinator Micaela Guglielmi at mguglielmi@salem.com or 978-619-5672.

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