City Earth Tub Composting System

The Earth Tub Composting Program

In 2017 the Arcata City Council adopted the Zero Waste Action Plan (ZWAP). the 10-year plan outlines eight implementation goals to help guide Arcata towards zero waste. One of these goals specifically addresses reducing food and other organic waste. To help divert organic waste from, ending up in the landfill, the City of Arcata purchased two composting vessels called Earth tubs.Earth Tub Design Overview

The Earth Tub is a closed vessel composting system manufactured by Green Mountain technologies.  It was chosen due to its size, design, cost, and relative success over at Cal Poly Humboldt. The Earth Tub eliminates any odors associated with composting thanks to its aeration and bio-filtration components. It also keeps out vectors such as rodents. The Earth Tub has a 3 cubic yard capacity and can receive up to 500 lbs of food waste per day. The City's Earth Tubs are conveniently located at Bayside Park Farm & Community Garden and is managed by the Environmental Services Department. When the Earth Tub is ready to be harvested, the finished compost will be used for landscaping and farming purposes. 

Piloting the Program

The Earth Tub composting program is currently in its early stages. Installation began in late 2018 and operation began in February 2019. The composting program consists of collecting compost bins from various city facilities, programs, and events. The goal is to eventually incorporate compost collection where ever food waste is generated on city property.

The following City facilities and programs are currently diverting their organic waste to the City's Earth Tubs:

Educational Opportunites and Community Involvement

Individuals, groups, and businesses that are interested in pursuing a similar organic waste diversion program are more than welcome to see this type of composting system in action. If you have any questions regarding our City's composting program, or if you are interested in composting at home, feel free to contact the Environmental Services Department. Arcata residents can also purchase a discounted backyard compost bin for $35 upon presentation of a water bill/receipt or a rental contract/receipt at the City of Arcata Environmental Services Department, 736 F Street, during regular business hours.

Dual Tubs

The City's Earth Tubs are located at Bayside Park Farm and Community Garden

Prius compost pick up

Compost is collected every week using a city vehicle.

Single Tub
Single earth tub
Biofilter material
Bio-filters are absorbent beds of porous organic materials containing microorganisms that break down odorous compounds.

The aeration system consists of a perforated center post which allows air into the base of the compost and the bio-filter blower which creates negative pressure at the top of the tub.

Compost collection bucket

Compost collection buckets can be found at city facilities and can be provided to city venue renters.