Materials Give Back Program

Providing compost, woodchips, and chipstone to city residents free of charge

The Materials Give Back Program is a "green" way that the City of Rochester provides various recycled materials to city residents free of charge. Individuals use these materials for household landscaping or other improvement projects. For example, after leaves are collected at curbside, they are treated and offered to the public as compost. Holiday trees are sent through a wood chipper and converted into mulch; a material perfect for flowerbeds or other landscaping projects (note: mulch is not suitable for vegetable gardens). Scrap wood and brush is collected and ground or chipped and returned to residents as wood chips. Finally, excess chipstone from the City's chip seal program, buildable fill, and scrap lumber pieces are returned to the public for their use. 

How can I take advantage of the program?

  • The Materials Give Back Center is only open seasonally, beginning the first Monday in April and ending the last Friday in December.
  • During that season, the Center is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Solid Waste Collection facility on Ferrano Street, near Colfax Street. Check out a map.
  • Availability of materials changes often. Materials are replenished Monday-Friday, based upon availability. Before you come (or to request a large amount of material), call 311 to see what is currently being offered.  From outside city limits, call (585) 428-5990.
  • Residents must bring their own shovels and containers for collecting materials. 
  • This service is intended for individual residents; contractors are not allowed to haul off large amounts of recycled products with loaders or other construction equipment.

Past Success

Materials Give Back is not only environmentally friendly, it is fiscally responsible. If the program did not exist, the City would have to haul all of the material to a refuse transfer station and pay a fee to dump it there. Returning materials to residents saves the City, on average, about $50,000 per year.

 Before: Scrap wood After: Wood chips available to the community