NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Landfills in Middle Tennessee are filling up fast, but you can help. 

A compost pilot program hopes to free up space in our landfills and create a more sustainable Nashville.

Jenn Harrman, program manager with Zero Waste Nashville, showed News 2 all the different ways you can compost. From a solar cone to a tumbler, no matter the device you use, Harrman said composting is a simple way to keep food scraps – which make up 30% of our landfill waste – out of the landfill, and at the same time, help the environment. 

“When you put food scraps into a landfill, it is the number one contributor of methane gas in our landfills. So, that’s a very powerful greenhouse gas…landfilling has been something that is cheap, something that we have done for a long time, but it’s not long term sustainable,” Harrman said.

The compost pilot program is taking applications now for this study; 750 homes in Nashville will receive free compost bins for an entire year. Residents are to put food scraps in the bin, and just like your regular trash pick-up, the city will take away your food scraps curbside once a week, and haul it away to be made into compost. 

“It’s being able to return that material back into our Middle Tennessee soils to improve soils and make them healthier for everyone in our community,” Harrman said

Wondering what you can compost? Some of the items seem obvious.

“Your banana peels, your leftovers, that very unfortunate back of the fridge that is now a whole different entity out there,” Harrman said. 

Others items, however, are not as obvious.

“Your own hair from your hairbrush, get real weird – finger nail clippings – some of those kind of things. Really, anything that was once alive, anything that’s organic, can be composted,” Harrman said.

According to Harrman, Nashville is ripe for a composting program that could one day be as routine as taking out the trash. 

“Find alternative solutions that can last lifetimes and lifetimes, so that our children and our children’s children are not ending up with no place to put their trash,” Harrman said.

This program is already getting a lot of feedback – more than 1,400 applications for 750 spots – but the city encourages residents to still apply because they haven’t picked winners yet. They also want a representative sample of the city.

If you would like to apply, click here.