Compost is necessary to have in order to get high soil quality and healthy plant growth. There are numerous ways to obtain free compost near you, just as there are numerous ways to obtain free mulch.
Compost offers numerous advantages. It is nutrient-dense because of the abundance of organic ingredients. It can be used as a fertilizer, soil conditioner, and natural insecticide for soil in various applications, including landscaping, horticulture, organic farming, and more.
Free Compost Near Me
Composting at home is an alternative to buying ready-made compost. Every household generates waste, and most of us throw it away. This habit contributes to the landfilling of countless tons of potentially biodegradable materials.
We may make compost out of these otherwise wasteful items, such as food scraps and cardboard. These components are not limited to the confines of your own dwelling. You can get free compostable materials from a wide variety of additional sources.
Free compost materials can be obtained from the following locations:
Your own home
Of course, you should start with your own house. Every day, I’m sure to accumulate a mountain of leftover fruit and vegetable peels, stems, and cores, including potato and chili. I’m guessing you’ve got trash, too. Rather than throwing these items out, you can place them in a compost pile or bin.
Ask local landscaping companies
Compostable materials can be found in landscaping businesses’ waste, such as twigs and grass clippings. Upon completion of a landscaping project, all they need to do is be called and asked if they can drop off the waste at your house.
The business might appreciate your taking their unwanted items off their hands.
Ask friends and neighbors
The composting materials you use may come from your social circle. Moreover, it serves as a pleasant occasion for mingling with the locals.
Eggshells, coffee grounds, vegetable peels, and grass clippings are all common household items that can be used as composting ingredients.
Get in touch with your neighbors and see if they can spare any yard waste, such as grass clippings. It wouldn’t hurt to inquire; that much is true.
Ask at local grocery stores
Composting materials can be found at local grocery stores (and produce stands!).
Grocery stores can be a goldmine for composting materials because they carry a lot of fruits and vegetables.
While major chain businesses might be useful, smaller mom-and-pop shops are usually more reliable. Smaller local grocery stores will almost certainly be eager to assist. Simply ask the store manager if they have any expired vegetables that you might use for your compost pile.
Although overripe fruits and vegetables, such as potatoes and tomatoes, are not edible, they can make an excellent addition to any compost pile.
Keep an eye out for local programs.
As part of their green initiatives, many communities now provide people with free compost through community outreach programs.
In some parts of California, like San Mateo, RethinkWaste provides free compost to locals.
Residents of the RethinkWaste service area can pick up free compost in San Carlos all year long, thanks to this program. Compost is available for free in the area for Islip residents.
Located on 40 acres of land adjacent to the northern boundary of MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, the town operates a compost facility. Compost is available for free to locals who provide their own shovels and containers.
Consider using the following search terms to locate a local composting initiative:
- Free compost pickup [name of your city]
- Free compost giveaway [name of your city]
- Free compost center [name of your city]
With these terms, you can find facilities, initiatives, and establishments in your area that provide compost at no cost.
OfferUp is well-known as a local marketplace where users may trade goods with one another. But there is no shortage of freebies to be had, either. Head on over to where everything is at zero cost to you. As I checked it out, I found that many folks in my area were giving away compost.
Just type “compost” into the site’s search bar to find relevant results.
On the other hand, you might discover that residents of your area are happy to distribute compost for free.
Gather up fall leaves
In the fall, you can find a lot of useful stuff for your compost bin that you can use for free. It’s easy to make use of the autumn season by raking up the leaves that have fallen on the ground.
It’s easy to collect leaves for disposal: go for a stroll around some local wooded areas or wherever you might find them, and pick them up with a broom and toss them in a trash can. This is a great, easy way to locate leaves for your compost pile.
It’s a good idea to save as many leaves as possible each autumn, as they can be used again later in the year. This is an excellent method of ensuring a steady supply throughout the year.
In the same vein as OfferUp, Facebook has a marketplace where users can purchase and sell goods.
But it also features a freebie section. Check it out and see if anyone is giving away compost in your area.
Contact Local Restaurants and Diners
Compostable materials can also be found at local eateries. This is due to the fact that they will have discarded food items such as coffee grounds, vegetable peels, and other pieces of food. Many of them, in fact.
You could absolutely try calling some local eateries and seeing if they have any leftovers they can spare.
Get in touch with local Coffeehouses
Coffee grinds are excellent for composting. So, ask any local coffeehouses if they’d be willing to keep the grounds for you – this can help the coffeehouse prevent the grounds from ending up in a landfill while also providing you with some material for your compost pile.
Several coffee shops also serve breakfast and lunch, so they could have some extra composting materials for you.
CompostNow is a service that provides compost in exchange for your food scraps, which they collect from your home.
The procedure is as follows:
- Sign up, and CompostNow will deliver a clean bin to your doorstep that same week.
- Fill up the bin with things like pizza boxes, coffee grounds and filters, paper products, and any food scraps, which include meat, bones, and dairy.
- CompostNow will swap your bin with a clean one each service day, which means you don’t have to worry about smells or residue.
- It will track your waste reduction and compost creation down to the pound.
- Then you earn compost. You can share it with the company’s farm and garden partners or have it delivered to you.
This is lower on the list since you have to pay for your third collection after the first two are downloaded. A compost bin and a “what can be composted” magnet is provided at no cost.
Following the initial two collections, payment is required. The price ranges from $29 to $35 per month, depending on which plan you select.
You can find almost anything for free on Craigslist, including firewood and pallets for do-it-yourself projects. Compost might not always be accessible, but it’s still a good idea to check on it.
Find free compost on Craigslist by following these steps:
- Go to your city’s free Craigslist section.
- Find the “For Sale” Section
- Under this section, click on “Free.”
- Enter the word “compost” into the search bar.
After that, local listings of compost giveaways will appear.
You should check out Freecycle right away if you haven’t already. Freecycle is a website where users can offer and receive free donations. Look around the website; you might find some free compost.
Ask at local farms
The manure from local farms, horse stables, and hobby farms makes for excellent compost.
Once more, all you have to do is inquire. Manure from a horse, cow, chicken, or rabbit is a great source of nitrogen, which will aid in speeding up the composting process by heating the pile.
Don’t worry about unpleasant odors if you include the manure in your compost pile in a way that breaks it down and mixes it with other materials.
If you don’t have access to a truck, you can transport the manure using many sealed five-gallon buckets.
Check post-Halloween or post-Thanksgiving
I noticed many pumpkins hanging from trees and decorating front lawns this year. The pumpkins in the tree were left to rot after Halloween. That’s why it’s a good idea to shop for Halloween decorations like pumpkins, gourds, straw, etc., after Thanksgiving or Christmas. Everything from the list above would make a fantastic addition to a compost pile.
Ask around your area to get free Halloween or Thanksgiving decorations like pumpkins and straw bales.
Uses of Compost
Compost is utilized not only in gardening but also in landscaping, organic farming, horticulture, and urban agriculture.
Compost’s high nutritional content makes it a great soil amendment.
Three things are necessary for composting:
Sticks, decaying leaves, and branches are all examples of browns. The carbon in the brown stuff is what your compost needs.
Greens include things like vegetable and fruit waste, grass clippings, and used coffee grounds. Nitrogen is obtained from green materials.
Wetness from the water will aid in decomposing the organic stuff. Having sufficient water, greens, and browns is crucial for compost growth.
Benefits of Compost
Compost offers numerous advantages, including:
- It aids in the retention of moisture in the soil.
- It functions as a fertilizer, which reduces the demand for chemical fertilizers.
- Compost encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic materials to produce humus, a nutrient-dense material.
- Composting minimizes landfill methane emissions.
- Composting helps you reduce your carbon footprint.
What else can you use in place of compost?
Many people propose peat as a compost replacement because it has a comparable feel to well-aged compost and provides a similar quality of organic material. However, due to the way it is mined, peat compost should not be used.
The majority of the peat used to manufacture garden compost comes from peat bogs, and intensive peat mining has a negative impact on the environment.
But that’s not all.
Harvesting peat destroys critical ecosystems as well. Because many rare and endangered species live in or near bogs, their way of existence may be jeopardized.
But, it is not only the mining of peat that is harmful. Utilizing peat brings its own set of issues. When peat is spread in your yard or on a field, the carbon in it quickly converts to carbon dioxide, contributing to greenhouse gas levels.
Can I substitute topsoil for compost?
Topsoil and compost are not the same things. As a result, it will not perform as well as compost. This means that you can’t just utilize topsoil.
Applying only topsoil does not guarantee soil function because some topsoil products include little to no organic matter or active soil microbes.
Can you grow using only compost?
As I previously stated, you cannot use topsoil in place of compost, but you should also not use only compost.
Raising plants in compost alone might cause issues with water retention and stability.
That is why you should use a combination of topsoil and compost.
Topsoil improves the structure and texture of the soil, allowing it to retain nutrients, moisture, and air while also effectively draining excess water.
The compost will add critical nutrients and organic matter to your garden, providing your plants with an optimal environment to develop.
So mix in an inch or two of compost and dirt.
What should I put in a compost pile?
So, what are some nice things to put in a compost bin or pile?
Here are some compostable materials:
grinds for coffee
- Filters for coffee
- Tea sachets
- Shelled nuts
- Paper Newspaper Shredded Cardboard
- Trimmings from the lawn
- Grass cuttings
- Leaves made of hay and straw
- Rags made of cotton and wool
- Lint from the dryer and vacuum cleaner
- Wood shavings
Vegetable peelings and grass cuttings decompose quickly and offer nitrogen as well as moisture.
Paper and cardboard boxes are also acceptable in your compost container.
What cannot be composted at home?
There are several things that you should never put in your compost bin or pile.
Here are some things you should not compost:
- Meat trimmings
- Chicken crumbs
- Milk, sour cream, and yogurt are examples of dairy products.
- Ash from coal or charcoal
- Plants that are sick or infested with insects
- Yard cuttings that have been pesticide-treated
- Pet excrements, such as feces from a dog or cat or soiled cat litter.
- Leaves or twigs of the black walnut tree
Here are some reasons why you should avoid the materials listed above:
Eggs, dairy products, meat and fish scraps, and fats, grease, lard, or oils can all produce odor and insect problems.
Plants are poisoned by chemicals found in coal and charcoal ash.
Plants that are diseased or insect-infested should not be used since the diseases or insects may spread throughout your garden.
Pesticide-treated yard waste has the potential to destroy beneficial composting organisms.
Human-harming parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens, and viruses can be found in pet excrement.
Plants may be harmed by chemicals released by black walnut tree leaves or twigs.