HOW DOES CURBSIDE PICK-UP WORK?
Turn Spoils to Soil
1. We provide an ANIMAL PROOF 13 gallon bin with locking lid and wheels for $24.00. When you sign up your bin will be delivered to your household or will be available for pick up at a volunteer’s house, depending on your town. Bin dimensions 13" w x 13" l x 27" h. For an additional $10.00 we will upgrade your order to a starter kit and include two sizes of compostable bag liners, one size for the 13 gallon curbside bin and a second 3 gallon size for kitchen countertop containers. (Bin options vary per town. Some municipalities offer free bins.)
2. Line your bin. This is required to ensure the bins can be fully emptied. A double lined paper grocery bag works well or you can use compostable bag liners. The drier the contents in the bin, the easier the bins empty, especially in winter and summer. Dry contents reduces odor and flies. Compostable bag liners for outdoor bins and countertop containers are available for purchase through your customer login and will be dropped off at your next pickup.
3. Fill up your bin. We accept all foods including meat, bones, dairy, shells, soiled pizza boxes, paper towels, napkins and certified compostable service ware. Certified compostable meets BPI CertifiedCompostable, ASTM D6400-04 and ASTM D6868-03. No waxed cardboard, milk cartons, soda cups, dryer lint, or cleaning chemicals on paper towels are allowed. Here's the full list of what's compostable.
4. Put your bin out for pick up once a week. Please make sure your bin is on the sidewalk, and not blocked by obstacles like other garbage bins, trees, etc. In addition to compost, we also pick up yard waste and textiles in a separate bag for select towns. Learn more about Textile Recycling and Yard Waste pickups.
5. Smile. You most likely will not have to put your regular trash out as often. You are making good use of your food scraps and helping the environment. While you are smiling, we're mixing, turning, and screening the organic waste to create a well balanced, nutrient rich compost. Learn more about our compost process.
6. Receive finished compost in the Spring. Replenish your own soil with community sourced compost, rich in humus, micro-organisms, and an abundance of immediate and slow release nutrients, or donate it to the Backyard Growers. In early Spring we'll mail you a voucher for one cubic foot bag of compost redeemable at participating Garden Centers. New customers as of March 15th, 2019 will receive compost in spring 2020. We also make Soil and Leaf Mulch available by the yard.
Check Your Address for Price and Program Details
Curbside compost details for residential pick-ups in your town!
WHAT CAN I COMPOST?
WE ACCEPT organic material, including all food:
- Dairy Products
- Meats and Bones
- Coffee Grounds, Filters and Tea bags
- Seafood and Shells
- Fruit and Vegetables
- Paper Napkins and Towels
- Certified Compostable Serviceware
*We DO NOT accept waxed cardboard, milk cartons, paper cups or similar items not certified compostable.
*We DO NOT accept Grass Clippings unless you are a subscriber to our Organic Lawn Care Partners. Inquire with your town for their yard waste services.
We take contamination seriously. Bins will not be picked up if contamination is a problem. We can work together to adjust your composting system to eliminate contamination.
Make Sure These Kids Approve Your Compostable Products
When purchasing compostable forks, bowls, packaging, etc. look for certified compostable products, not biodegradable. These products meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications for compostable plastic ASTM D6400-04 and compostable packaging ASTM D6868-03.
Purchase compostable bag liners for kitchen counter top containers, 13 gallon curbside bins and commercial slim jims through your customer login and they will be delivered at your next scheduled pickup.
Additional compostable plastic information:
Biodegradable Institute Approved Compostable Products
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
How can I see if you service my home?
Enter your address into the "Check if you service my address?" section of the home page or the residential pick up page.
How do I prevent compost from freezing to the bin in winter?
To prevent compost from freezing to your outdoor bin in winter you can line it with a compostable bag. Double bagged paper grocery bags work great. Or you can purchase compostable bags – the EcoSafe compostable bag fits the curbside bins. Feeling creative? Roll your compost like a burrito in newspaper.
Can produce stickers be composted?
Produce stickers are not compostable and do not break down in the compost pile. Please remove stickers from produce before disposal.
What are organics?
In the compost world, organics refers to materials that were once alive and will break down naturally to be turned into compost (nutrient rich soil). This term is not to be confused with organic food that complies with organic methods of farming. Examples of organics that are accepted in the compost bin are listed on the “Composting Guide” page.
What type of container should I use?
New customers are required to purchase our animal proof 13 gallon tote, with locking lid and wheels for $24 (half the price of retail) for curbside pickup. Bin dimensions 13" w x 13" l x 27" h. This can be kept inside or outside the house. City sponsored programs may supply containers. Please check with your city. In addition, you may want to use a smaller kitchen container to empty into the 13 gallon bin. There are a variety of container options to create a clean and efficient system that meets your needs, including kitchen counter top crocks, door hung bins, and freezer containers.
How do I get a replacement bin?
Please contact us through the residential contact form to order a replacement bin.
Can I put out two bins?
We offer subscriptions for a second bin. Please contact us through the residential contact form to set up service for a second bin. For infrequent needs, consider ordering yard waste stickers and putting out a yard waste bag with your bin. This works great for parties with lots of soiled paper products.
Where will the collected food scraps be composted?
We compost at several locations that we manage or are in partnerships with that are permitted by the MASS Department of Environmental Protection or MASS Dept of Agriculture to accept food waste for composting. These locations include partnerships with cities, local farms, and private land.
How can I minimize odors in my food waste collection container?
Composting can be messy. Just taking a few simple steps and establishing a good system removes the ick factor. Here are some suggestions: We highly recommend the use of a container liner, either a paper bag/newspaper or approved compostable bag (biodegradable bags are not acceptable). Clean container regularly. Compost napkins, paper towels and other soiled paper to absorb moisture. Avoid pouring liquid into the container. Indoor kitchen containers with a carbon filter traps odor. In the heat of the summer freeze food waste before collection. Sprinkle bottom of container with baking soda (to absorb wetness & odor). Sprinkle bottom of container with white vinegar. Wrap meat, fish in newspaper or paper bags. Keep the bin out of the sun.
What are compostable bags?
Compostable bags are made of a corn polymer and have been tested to break down within a certain time frame at industrial compost facilities. We accept bags certified compostable by the BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) meeting ASTM D6400 standard (such as BioBags, EcoSafe, Bag to Nature, Biotuff and Natur-Bag). These bags come in a variety of sizes, and will fit any size container from a 2 gallon counter top container to 64 gallon wheeled tote. They are available at Crosby’s, Target, Whole Foods, Amazon or our web store.
Can I include yard waste and leaves in my barrel?
Most cities have a separate service that pick up leaves and yard waste. Please inquire with your city. If your city is unable to meet your needs we do offer yard waste collection. Purchase an organge sticker through your account store and slap on a paper yard waste bag, fill with yard debris (NO GRASS!), and place next to your green bin on your regularly scheduled pickup. Acceptable material includes leaves, small plants, and sticks no greater than a half inch round. Grass is only accepted if you participate in an organic yard care program. Please keep yard bags dry until pickup day.
Can I put my food in plastic bags and then put it in the organics cart?
No! Plastic bags are a contaminant.
What do I do if my scheduled pick-up was missed?
Log into your account and report a missed pick up under the missed pick up tab. We will get back to you to reschedule a pickup for when we are next in your neighborhood.
Can my pet get sick from compost?
Always keep compost carts out of the reach of pets. As organic material decomposes, mold can grow. Some forms are toxic to pets.
Why is composting better than putting food scraps in the garbage disposal?
A decrease in the use of garbage disposals results in water and electricity savings. Food scraps are organics, which increase Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) at our wastewater treatment plant, adding to the cost of treating our wastewater. By removing these organics, the treatment plant can function more efficiently, saving daily cost of operation while also helping marine wildlife and habitat, thus improving the quality of our estuaries and waterways.
What’s so great about compost?
By composting, you are turning what would otherwise be waste into a resource that can be used again. Not only is this resource valuable, but instrumental in securing a healthy local food system. When you compost with Black Earth Compost your efforts become part of a bigger, more resilient system. The finished compost is available for you to use and is used by local farms who grow food that is sold in grocery stores and restaurants, returning your nutrients to you in their most nourishing form. Not only is the big picture cool, all the microbes, bacteria, and insects that make it possible are pretty cool too! The same genus of bacteria that inhabit hot springs and deep sea thermal vents are also found in the compost pile when it’s at it’s hottest temperature.
How do I change or cancel my compost pick up service?
To change your payment plan or cancel your pick up service email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the form on our contact page.