Organics Collection Information

Fitchburg’s Organics Collection Pilot began in April 2012 and ended December 2013, with ~323 out of 400 households participating in the Pilot. The Pilot was well received by residents and has provided a wealth of logistical information and will contribute to the success of any future city-wide household organics collection program.

On November 27, 2013, the City of Fitchburg received the Recycling Excellence Award for superior performance in 2012. The award was presented to the City by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as part of a program designed to increase interest in recycling. The goal is to reward communities for doing great recycling work while also driving friendly competition to improve their programs.

Excellence In Recycling Award
The City of Fitchburg is proud to accept this award and will continue striving to live up to Fitchburg’s Welcome Signs proclaiming Fitchburg as “Wisconsin’s Recycling Leader.” Fitchburg would like to thank Pellitteri Waste Systems as well as all the residents who made this Pilot possible.

For a more detailed understanding of the Fitchburg Household Organics Collection Pilot, please read the 2013 Household Organics Collection Report.

At Home Composting

While they City of Fitchburg will no longer be collecting Organic waste, we encourage all residents to compost at home. Check out this great Home Composting resource.

Where can I get Compostable Plastic Bags?

Compostable plastic bags can be purchased at local stores such as Target, Copps, Woodman's, Whole Foods, Willy Street Co-op East, and online.


Household Organics Collection Report, 2013

This report is a continuation of work conducted by the Resource Conservation Commission (RCC) Organics Collection Subcommittee. This report gives a summary of the Organics Collection Pilot from April 2012 to the present date and includes a discussion of future opportunities. Included in this document are brief statistics regarding the collection pilot, such as tons of organic waste collected, as well as an outline of resident’s comments, concerns, and suggestions.


What are Organics?

The City of Fitchburg Organics Collection Pilot refers to organics as material that is capable of decay through some form of a biological process, such as decomposition. Organics does not refer to food produced organically. However, this food can certainly be put in your compost pail too. Organics are things like apple cores, orange peels, other fruit and vegetable rinds, fats, meats, and bones. Pretty much anything you can eat is considered organic for the purpose of this pilot. Used napkins or paper towels, cheese covered pizza lids, and pet waste are also considered organics for this pilot. Our frequently asked questions page has more information on the program.

Why Collect Organics?

The main reason is to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill. Approximately 42% of waste collected in Fitchburg's refuse carts is considered organic and is readily compostable (based on the 2009 Fitchburg Waste Sort). If we can reduce that number to 10% throughout the entire city we will keep over 1,000 tons of trash out of the landfill annually. That will extend the life of the landfills, and save a significant amount of money by reducing long term disposal costs. There are several other reasons including:
  • Organics are a potential energy source. As food waste breaks down, it releases methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas and significantly contributes to global climate change. An anaerobic digester can be used to collect methane from decomposing material and transform it into useable energy.
  • Organics are rich in nutrients. As the materials break down and turn into compost, the compost can be returned to the soil.

More Information

An informational workshop was held on March 8, 2012 for households taking part in the program. A video of the workshop can also be seen on FACTv.

Questions, Concerns, Suggestions

Please contact Erika Kluetmeier ( at 608-270-4274.