Several Florida cities have implemented composting programs as part of their sustainability initiatives.

The City of Miami Beach collaborated with the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens to start a central composting hub at the Botanical Gardens using a $50,000 environmental sustainability grant and create signage for the pilot program. Gardens’ staff use the finished compost throughout the gardens and offer it for sale.

There is an easy entry for community members who are dropping off materials for composting, and staff oversee drop-offs.

The City is taking steps to promote home composting. Rolando Martinez, Sustainability Specialist for the City, said, “We recently awarded a grant to a local community organization to create a program that provides bins to residents who want to compost in their own yards.”

The City partnered with nonprofit Oolite Arts to hold a Sustainability in Action PSA video contest to encourage residents to reduce waste. There is also a regular schedule of community education, workshops and social media posts about the benefits of composting. (See the video at


Since the launch of its Community Composting Bin Program, the City of Largo has had over 700 residents request free bins. “About one-half of the residents who started composting as a result of our program had never composted before,” said Julianne Perez, Community Engagement Administrator.

The City worked with community partners to create a robust educational component. “We partnered with a local nonprofit, Keep Pinellas Beautiful, City of Largo Outreach, Sustainability and Multimedia team members and one of our Community Ambassadors, a Largo resident passionate about sustainability, to develop educational materials,” said Perez.

The group created a web page ( that describes the program and includes resources such as educational videos in English and Spanish, flyers and FAQs. The page also includes the request form for a bin.

The City of Clearwater partners with Pinellas Community Compost to provide an online class, “Create Compost,” to encourage residents to learn about backyard composting. The online platform includes educational videos that are free to the public with registration.

“Once Clearwater residents register for and complete the course, we provide instructions on how they can arrange pickup of their free composting bin,” said Sheridan Gemuendt, Sustainability Coordinator.

Registration for the online course has topped 2,000. “We have distributed 490 bins and feel confident that people are using them because they’ve invested time to learn about composting and picking up their bin,” said Gemuendt.

Challenges that the City had to overcome included storage space for the bins, she said. One Saturday each month is designated for pick up at a central location. For more information about the Clearwater program, go to


The Village of Palmetto Bay promotes composting to residents through a How-To Gardening Workshop series presented by Miami-Dade County Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener Terri Stephen that includes one session on Composting 101.

“The Village does not provide bins, but residents of Miami-Dade County are eligible for a voucher for one free composting bin from the County when they attend any of the Extension’s composting workshops,” said Stephen.

This program is free for residents. About 75% of attendees say they will obtain a bin and begin composting in the end-of-class survey.

A city staff person, Lisbeth Benivegna, Events and Program Supervisor, oversees logistics and publicity. Videos of the workshop are posted on the Village website. (See the video at

A pilot residential compost bin distribution program was launched to celebrate International Compost Awareness Week in the City of St. Augustine. “It is a pretty inexpensive way to reduce the amount of organic material in trash,” said Todd Grant, Utilities Director for the City.

The City delivered a free bin and composting instructions to the first 50 residents who signed up. The event was funded by miscellaneous income such as scrap material sales and franchise fees collected by the City.

“The program was promoted on social media and the City website, an online application was available on the website and the request went into our work order system,” Grant explained.

For more information on composting, go to