Compost (SCRAPS)

The SCRAPS program is a joint effort by the City's Department of Environmental Health and Sustainability and the Pitkin County Landfill to assist residents and businesses in compost collection by providing free collection containers and education.

The Pitkin County Landfill has an industrial composting facility that reduces waste by turning food and organic materials into rich soil.

How to Compost

Pick up a Free Compost Collection Container

  • City of Aspen residents may make arrangements to pick up a free 6.5 gallon bucket bucket at the EHS Department on the 2nd floor of the Old Powerhouse Building at 590 N. Mill Street by emailing or calling Liz Chapman at 970-319-6890.
  • Pitkin County residents may pick up their free bucket at the Pitkin County Landfill.
  • Paying customers may ask their local compost collection provider to drop off a bucket.

Figure out how to get your compostable waste to the Pitkin County Landfill

Start Collecting your Compost

All of the following organic matter shown below can be composted.


Bear Season (April to October)

  • Bring it in - Buckets should be kept indoors during bear season (April - October) and only brought out to the curb on the morning of collection day. Do not leave buckets outdoors overnight.*
  • Bag it - collect compost materials in small bags (paper or compostable) every couple of days, then close the bag and place inside bucket. This will help reduce the smell and slow the rate the food products break down.
  • Freeze it - place meat, cheese, fish or other ‘stinky’ items in a compostable or paper bag and put into the freezer. Then, put the frozen material into the collection bucket on the day it will be picked up.
  • Layer it - place layers of paper products in between layers of food products to slow down the decomposition and trap odors.
  • Clean it - giving your compost collection bucket a rinse each week and a wash when it needs it will help to keep it smell-free and unattractive to bears. Spraying cleaning solution or diluted bleach on the lid will also help keep it unattractive.
  • Go vegan - keeping meat and dairy out of the compost collection bucket will reduce the attraction to bears by reducing the odors. However, be sure you are disposing of these items safely in the regular trash. Bagging them and freezing them are still a good idea when you choose to place meat and cheese into the trash instead of the compost during bear season.

Bear Note

Those who have a secure trash enclosure, a bear-proof bin secured with metal can place compost material within the bin prior to day of pick-up. Those with plastic bins (3, 6 or 22 gallon) need to keep those bins inside until day of pick-up. Bins made entirely of plastic have been breached by bears, despite the ‘bear-proof’ certification.


Please contact Liz Chapman at 970-429-1831 or go to the Pitkin County Landfill website for more information about the SCRAPS program.