Today, we have five co-op sites actively running in the City of Lancaster. Each site is run independently by a local community member (“co-captain”) in conjunction with the support of the community participants (“community members”) to foster the unique culture/needs of their surrounding neighborhood. Our goal is to expand across all corners of the city, bringing access to composting to all! 

Scroll down to learn more about each co-op’s history, members, and how to participate.

Note: You may attend an orientation at any site, regardless of where you plan to compost. 

Musser Park Co-Op

Location: Musser Park (135 N Lime St, Lancaster, PA 17602); The bin is located near the intersection of N. Shippen Street and E. Chestnut Street.

Co-Op Status: Full; Please check out a different site or join the waitlist here.

About This Site

Musser Park originally opened in 1949, a bequest to the City of Lancaster by Henry Musser, maker of umbrella handles. Located in the heart of the city within a beautiful historic area, the 3.1 acre park has been a pleasant and beloved green oasis for the residents of the city’s east side for years. It has been an inclusive hub of daily activities for all age groups, including a playground, picnic area, and the Lancaster Museum of Art. 

Having the bin in this location provides a visible symbol of social responsibility & conservation efforts. It is a point of curiosity for local residents, and passerbyers will stop by to learn more. We are proud to have the support of the Musser Park Civic Association, a volunteer-group that aims to improve and make the park accessible to all.

About The Compost Captain

For the past 30 years, Antonia has lived within a few blocks of the park. An entrepreneur, she recently sold her catering business and was looking for new ways to help the community and utilize her passion for gardening. You can find her fearlessly rummaging in the bin to pull out any oversized scraps and bringing snacks to monthly workdays. 

New Holland Ave Co-Op

Location: Lancaster Recycling Drop-Off Center (850 New Holland Ave, Lancaster, PA 17601); The bin is located behind the drop-off center near the line of trees

Co-Op Status: Closed to new members until spring 2022

About This Site

The City of Lancaster’s Recycling Drop Off Center was conceptualized in 2007. The goal was to develop a location that would offer recycling services to residents and small businesses that may not have room at their locations for bins or carts. The site has grown tremendously in the past three years with the shift to the “Big 4” at the curbside and today there are over 6,000 cars on a monthly basis recycling more than the “Big 4.”

The Bureau of Solid Waste & Recycling, Department of Public Works is dedicated to improving the quality of life of all residents. The goal is continually work to recycle more and generate less waste. Composting in the City is an excellent way to bring a community together while reducing waste into a beneficial use.

About The Compost Captain

Mike has lived in the Lancaster area for the past 20 years. Currently the head of Solid Waste & Recycling Management for the City of Lancaster, he is enthusiastic about finding new ways to make the City more livable and connected as well as is knowledgeable about government policy and processes. You can always find Mike ready with an idea about what we should be doing with our trash and the real facts about compostable plates. 

Culliton Park Co-Op

Location: Southwest corner of Culliton Park (317 E Filbert St, Lancaster).  The bin is inside the metal gate, directly behind the baseball diamond.  

Co-Op Status: Accepting new composters; Sign up for an orientation through  Eventbrite

JOE: I was born and raised in Lancaster County, and am returning to my Mennonite farming roots through involvement in gardening and compost initiatives here in Cabbage Hill! I recently began work as a Housing Specialist for Church World Service, and have interned for the City of Lancaster’s Planning Bureau as well. I love our beautiful community here in the Southwest – especially using Spanish and Arabic to connect with neighbors – and am excited to build more relationships!

EMILY: As the newest member of Poplar Place, I am eagerly working to become more considerate and intentional in my relationship with the earth, especially with the incredible world of dirt and gardening. A recent graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, I have found homes in both the people and places of Lancaster City, and hope that the Composting Co-op is a source of collective joy and pride within Cabbage Hill.

About This Site

Culliton Park originally opened under the name Farnum Park. After benefiting from extensive renovations and a grand reopening in November 2020, the Park is now home to the Conlin Field baseball diamond, a splash pool, basketball courts, a pavilion, large open green spaces, and a huge sledding hill for the kids. Conlin Field is always bustling with friendly competition amongst local teams and amateurs alike, and the community-based art projects and local plantings throughout the space also make this park feel like a true hub for the vibrant Southwest neighborhood. Culliton Park is the largest green space in the SoWe neighborhood and is also one of the most active parks in the City.

The “Behind Culliton Park” bin is located just behind Conlin Field, at the intersection of Conestoga, Union, and Filbert streets. Members of the co-op are able to access a gated lot with plenty of grass, trees and even picnic benches for members to gather, outside the old Rolstolsky building. Originally a refuge for German immigrants fleeing religious persecution, this neighborhood got it’s nickname “Cabbage Hill” because of all the households that grew cabbage in their backyards. So it feels rather fitting that today, neighbors will have the chance to work together once again, to turn their food scraps into something that enriches the same soil!

We are proud to have the support of Friends of Culliton Park and Lancaster Southwest Community (SoWe), two neighbor-led initiatives to see shared spaces thrive and directly benefit its neighbors.

About The Compost Captains

This site is organized and run by Poplar Place – a small intentional Christian community on Cabbage Hill committed to building neighborhood connections, offering hospitality, promoting ecological wholeness/sustainability, and being active allies for the liberation of all people.                                                       

JACQUIE: I’ve lived on the 400 block of Poplar Street for years now and in that time, my neighborhood has wooed me into a long-term commitment! Thanks to my mom’s resilience, I learned from a young age to revere flowers. In big part because of communal living, my love grew from there to all the magical things nature can do – such as produce food and its own nutritious fertilizer (i.e. compost)! As someone who learned the ways of the earth directly from relationships with others, I’m excited to play in the dirt with neighbors I don’t yet know! When I’m not enjoying the outdoors, I love planning/attending social events, rallying for affordable housing, and exploring new alleyways in the city!

DAVID: I work in behavioral health in the city and am looking forward to building deeper connections with the Cabbage Hill community, with the added bonus of reducing waste and nurturing our many gardens in the neighborhood. I also enjoy reading and discussion around philosophy and religion, and will eagerly offer good movie suggestions for any occasion.

Buchanan Park Co-Op

Location: Buchanan Park (825 Buchanan Avenue, Lancaster). This bin is located between the bocce ball court & Visual Arts Center. 

Co-Op Status: Accepting new composters; Sign up for an orientation through  Eventbrite

About This Site

Buchanan Park is a super busy Lancaster city park.  Located adjacent to F&M College, it is home to the John A. Fritz Memorial Rose garden, courts for the active Lancaster Bocce League, the city tree arboretum, a summer wading pool, the best sledding hill in the city, and Beau’s Dog Park. Public tennis and basketball courts are available on the north side.  There are many other annual and pop-up events over the years, which included the Loyalty festival and parade, Veg Fest, Lancaster Music Festival, Rec Center beer garden, PRIDE festival.  Neighbors and friends often walk through the park and meet up for picnics, yoga, soccer games, playground fun, and just to sit and enjoy this special green space.

Our bin is nestled in a sun-dappled area east of the bocce courts on the south side of the park.  Our future plans include a double little free nature library for adults and children (in cooperation with Reach Out and Read Lancaster County).  A site has already been marked for a pollinator garden with many plants to be provided by members of Gardens Gone Native, a local garden group.

Although surrounded by individual homes and the college campus, this bin draws apartment dwellers, county residents who drop compost on their way to work in the city, and residents of LongCrest, a local senior apartment complex.

About The Compost Captains

Linda Gort is a family nurse practitioner in a community health center, a weekend fiber and mixed media artist, and a 50-year city resident. Her wonderful grandchildren and young patients push her to more personal and public environmental and health advocacy for their futures.  There are usually carrot peelings and eggshells in Linda’s compost container.  She dumps her coffee grounds and tea leaves in her own gardens, saving the tea bags for her art.

Recently retired from three decades of teaching at Millersville University, Tracey Weis is excited to conspire with her indefatigable co-captain and other cooperative composters to “build the bin” as a platform for sociable and sustainable community development. When she is not composting, Tracey enjoys tending her garden, reading mysteries, and cooking. She is looking forward to traveling with friends and visiting museums, historic sites, and gardens. 

Tracey and Linda have shared a backyard compost bin for almost 10 years… they are happy to be composting in a social setting… this means snacks or potlucks on workdays!

Linear Park Co-Op

Location: Northwest Corridor Linear Park (200 W Lemon Street, Lancaster). This bin is adjacent to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club and basketball court. 

Co-Op Status: Accepting new composters; Sign up for an orientation through  Eventbrite

About This Site

Major Janice C Stork Park, previously and commonly known as Linear Park, is located on the 200 block of W. Lemon Street.  This unique park is utilized by Lemon Street Market staff and customers, the Boys and Girls Club of Lancaster, and Discerning Eye Community Agriculture (DECA City Farms).  Located just a block away from Lemon Street Market, this bin is easily accessible for residents of Lemon Street, Mulberry Street, Prince Street, and beyond!

About The Compost Captain

Olivia has lived in Lancaster County all her life, and has lived in Lancaster City since 2018. She is the Sustainability Director at Lemon Street Market, so you’ll probably see her when you stop in to shop.  Environmental conservation and engaging the local community are two of Olivia’s biggest passions, having previously worked with local grassroots organizations that are aimed at promoting accessibility and diversity. Being compost captain at Linear Park allows Olivia to combine those interests! Outside of work and composting, you can find Olivia at local concerts, cooking for herself and for friends, and grabbing coffee at a local spot (really loving Endo lately!). 

Describing her community compost experience as accessible, empowering, and fun, Olivia loves that the Co-Op brings local community members together and allows you to meet neighbors with common values and goals! Stop by the Linear Park bin to see Olivia composting her banana peels, kale stems, or (in the summer) watermelon rinds. 

We are currently in discussion about several new sites.  Look out for an update soon! If you are interested in setting up your own co-op, reach out at [email protected]