Convert A Landfill into A Compost Facility for MA

Quick Overview: This is a Public Project, not owned by Black Earth

· ~35% of household trash is food scraps that can be recycled locally in Massachusetts rather than being burned at incinerators or creating methane in Ohio or Maine landfills.

· Black Earth Compost has an opportunity to do something about it by converting an old landfill to a state-of-the-art food scrap recycling center that produces compost for farms and backyard growers.

· $350,000 in funds raised from the community (tax deductible) will help get this facility built, so it can act as a shining model for more towns to follow across Massachusetts.


Help Build A State-of-the-art Compost Facility on a Landfill

Out with the old, in with the future of regenerative waste management! Black Earth Compost has a rare opportunity to build and operate a state-of-the-art composting facility on top of an old landfill in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. It is important to know that in 2015, Massachusetts was first in the nation to ban food scraps from ending up in landfills and incinerators, but it only applies to large sources of waste right now.

Food scrap composting is challenging in Massachusetts because land value is high and neighbors are close. This facility aims to solve those problems by partnering with the town and building an efficient structure on a small footprint to handle the first 3 (and toughest to manage) weeks of composting, indoors in a controlled environment. Once built, this facility can be replicated, creating more capacity to manage food scraps in-state, so Massachusetts can divert more from landfills. This project is the beginning of the snowball towards sustainability.

  • The facility will process at least 30 tons of food scraps per week, the equivalent of what 5,000 households produce per week, and maybe much more.
  • It will generate 5,000 yards per year of compost to be reused on farms and backyard gardens.
  • The new facility is located at the town’s existing trash/recycle drop off area at the old landfill. The new facility will continue these services plus have drop off for yard waste.
  • We have built Generation 1 of this facility in Groton, MA during the 2020 pandemic year. It is ¼ the size of this project. This Generation 2 will be the first of its kind in MA and a model for future towns to propel this movement forward. Successful models are needed before other ambitious towns adopt this.



The Cost

The estimated total cost for the project is $1,350,000. This is a public project, one that Black Earth will operate in partnership with the Town of Manchester. $400,000 of the funding was originally from state grants, however those sources dried up over the last year due to the pandemic and neither Black Earth nor Manchester can make up that gap, so we are looking for donations totaling $350,000. The money will be used to expand the area, protect wetlands, prepare driving lanes, and increase accessibility. Black Earth will then spend roughly $1,000,000 to finish the site work and build the state-of-the-art structure.

If half of our curbside subscribers chipped in $35, that would cover the $350,000 we are seeking. If you are able to contribute more, that will make up for others who can not.


The Urgency

Projects like this are many years in the making, and the Town of Manchester, which already pays for city-wide compost collection, has been developing this plan for 4 years. The year is now 2021 and we are nearing hard deadlines that countries have agreed on to reduce greenhouse gasses by. Allowing this project to fall apart is a step backward at a time we need to be moving forward together. Funding this project is a big step forward for Massachusetts because it acts as one of the very few examples of how food scraps can be recycled in Massachusetts. This is a tangible, local, and sustainable project that can have huge returns for eastern Massachusetts and other towns can replicate.

In 10 years Black Earth Compost has composted 100 million pounds of food scraps and created tens of thousands of yards of top-grade compost that has been used in community gardens, farms, and in your backyard. Building this new site will allow us to expand our mission and secure curbside composting for the next 20 years.


Seaside Sustainability

We have teamed up with Seaside Sustainability, a Cape Ann based registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization, who is supporting this project with a grant towards construction. This GoFundMe funds that grant. This project aligns with their mission of creating sustainable oceans and communities by education through action. They have worked extensively on the issue of eliminating plastic waste from our oceans, through single use plastic bans, plastic waste awareness, macroplastic beach cleanups, and machines that capture floating trash in the ocean. 5% of your donation will go to Seaside Sustainability and the rest will go to construction of the new facility.



Because this is in partnership with the Town of Manchester, this project has a request for proposals due on June 10th. We need to raise these funds by June 21st to break ground by the end of the summer. If the project falls through your money will be returned to you.


Please help secure the future of regenerative waste management right here in Massachusetts.


Thank You!

Black Earth and Seaside Sustainability Teams

Eric Magers 
Executive Director & Founder, Seaside Sustainability
[phone redacted] | [email redacted]


Justin Sandler 
Gloucester, MA
Seaside Sustainability, Inc. 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.
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