Composting and Gardening
Home Composting is a great way to reduce waste, recycle your yard debris and help your garden. Composting is a naturally occurring process where organic material (yard materials and vegetable wastes) is broken down into an excellent soil enhancer & mulch. Mixing compost into soil improves the soil's texture, and increases its ability to hold air and water. By reducing evaporation, composting allows your landscaping to use less water. You can learn about Home Composting using the links below.
2021 Free Home Composting Workshops
Schedule for free backyard and worm composting workshops.
Home Composting Bins
Home Composting can be done in an open pile or using a bin or composter. There are many types of bins including those which are homemade or purchased from retailers.
Directions (PDF) to make your own bin.
Reduced Price Composting Bins
Residents that live in the following areas can purchase a Compost Bin at a reduced price. To make arrangements to purchase and pick-up your Compost Bin contact the number listed next to the area you live in.
Martinez: (925) 372-3531
Pleasant Hill: (925) 671-5265
See below for details regarding Compost Bins for residents living in the following areas:
Cities of El Cerrito, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo and Surrounding Unincorporated West County Areas of Bayview, El Sobrante, Tara Hills, Montalvin Manor, North Richmond, Rollingwood and East Richmond Heights or call (510) 215-3125
Healthy Garden Tips (Contra Costa Clean Water Program)
Gardening in Contra Costa County - Water Saving Plants
Less Toxic Home and Garden (Central Contra Costa Sanitary District)
Bring Back the Natives Garden Tour
Lose Your Lawn the Bay-Friendly Way
Healthy Lawns without Pesticides
Lawn & Landscape Watering Schedule (Contra Costa Water District)
Watering Guide – East Bay (EBMUD)
WaterSmart gardener Incentives and Resources (EBMUD)
Landscape Design Assistance Program (CCWD)
Lawn Conversion & Irrigation Upgrade Rebates (EBMUD)
Bay Friendly Gardening Guidelines
This how-to guide provides gardening tips, a design survey, profiles of East Bay gardens, and much more.
Chapter 1: Gardening for a Sense of Place (PDF)
Chapter 2: Into the Garden - Look Before You Leap (PDF)
Chapter 3: Gardening from the Ground Up (PDF)
Chapter 4: Gardening Day To Day and Through the Seasons (PDF)
Chapter 5: Gardening for the Birds and the Bees (PDF)
Chapter 6: If You Don't Own the Land (PDF)
Chapter 7: Resources (PDF)
Bay-Friendly Design Questionnaire (PDF)
Complete Guide: Bay-Friendly Gardening Guide (PDF)(6.77 MB)
Bay Friendly Landscaping Guidelines
This guide is written for the professional landscape industry as a way to provide an integrated approach to environmentally friendly landscaping.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Bay-Friendly Landscaping...in a Bay-Friendly Way (PDF)
Chapter 2: Bay-Friendly Menu of Best Practices (PDF)
Chapter 3: Principals and Practices (PDF)
Chapter 4: Bay-Friendly Landscape Scorecard (PDF)
Chapter 5: How to Start Landscaping in a Bay-Friendly Way (PDF)
Complete Guide: Bay-Friendly Landscape Guidelines (4+MB) (PDF)