Milwaukee DPW selling compost bins and rain barrels

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works will host its 6th annual backyard compost bin and rain barrel sale this June. Bins and barrels must be pre-ordered online at by Saturday, June 10. You can pick up purchased bins and barrels rain or shine on Saturday, June 17 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM in the Estabrook Park parking lot at 4600 Estabrook Parkway.

No sales will be made at Estabrook Park on June 17 – pre-orders by June 10 only will be honored. This sale is not restricted to City of Milwaukee residents.

Earth Machine™ compost bins and SYSTERN rain barrels will be available for $50 and $60 respectively (including tax), a significant savings from regular retail prices of $100 and $120, respectively. Compost turners ($20) and kitchen scrap pails ($5 and $10) also will be available for purchase.

More than 1,600 compost bins and 1,300 rain barrels have been purchased at past annual sales.

“Milwaukeeans are smart about sustainability. Composting helps reduce solid waste, saves our taxpayers money by conserving landfill space, and avoids disposal costs,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “When we commit to green behaviors such as recycling and composting, Milwaukee continues moving toward our goal of reaching 40% landfill diversion.”

DPW Sanitation Services Manager Rick Meyers: “Yard waste was banned from landfills in Wisconsin in 1993, so home composting is a great way to manage leaves, grass clippings, garden trimmings, your fruit and vegetable scraps, and other organic materials. A recent DPW study showed that households using backyard compost bins divert about 25% of their food waste from their trash.”

Are you a beginner composter? Each compost bin comes with a “kitchen pail” with helpful tips imprinted on the side to get you started. Visit and search for “compost” for more information.

Rainwater harvesting is the perfect complement to composting efforts. One inch of rainwater falling onto a 1,000 square-foot roof yields up to 600 gallons of water saved from our storm water sewer systems. Residents can use this harvested water for their lawns and gardens without turning on the tap, which conserves our natural resources and helps save money on their water bills.

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