Every April and August, Castro Valley Sanitary District (CVSan) gives back thousands of bags of compost to the community at Recycles Day, at Canyon Middle School. Compost is a natural soil amendment which is created from the materials CVSan customers put in their organics carts. 

Compost & Mulch Instructions


  • Adding compost brings life to the soil.  Just one teaspoon can have more than one billion beneficial microbes.
  • New gardens:  Add 4-6” before planting.
  • Established gardens:  Add 2-4” before each planting.
  • Potted plants:  Add 1 part compost to 3 parts potting mix.
  • New trees and shrubs:  Add a 5 gallon bucket for every 1-2 gallons of the tree/shrub container size


  • Mulch conserves water, enhances the growth of plants, suppresses weeds, and controls topsoil erosion.
  • Use gloves to evenly spread 3-4” of mulch over bare soil.
    Replenish annually or as needed.
  • Keep recycling food scraps in your green organics cart to continue the cycle!

Home Composting
It is something of a miracle to see broccoli stems, orange peels, and fallen leaves change into dark, sweet-smelling earth. Composting is a process of collecting organic materials and combining them in a manner that will encourage their breakdown. Composting makes use of the natural process of decomposition to create a high-quality soil conditioner.

Organic matter is made from plant and animal materials. Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed and produced into a soil amendment, rich in nutrients. Fallen leaves, grass clippings, woodchips, sawdust, manure, kitchen scraps are all organic materials capable of breaking down and being recycled into rich compost that can be returned to the earth.

Adding compost to soil ensures:

  • Good soil structure and nutrient supply.
  • Sufficient water retention and proper drainage.
  • Disease resistance.

Compost Bins
For information on how to build your own compost bin, please click here.

Compost and worm bins are available for purchase from a variety of retailers. To request a donated compost bin from CVSan, fill out a Donation and Supply Request Form and turn it to

Davis Street WM EarthCare Landscape Center
The Davis Street WM EarthCare Landscape Center, located in San Leandro provides sustainable landscape products like compost and mulch made locally from 100 percent recycled, Bay Area-sourced organic materials.

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