FAQ

  1. Can my office sign up for compost service?

Absolutely! Offices can sign up for either of our services. We’ll get in touch with offices that sign up for our Curbside service to find out if you’d like us to come into your office to swap out the bucket, or if you’d prefer to leave it outside in an agreed upon location.

  1. Where do you take the compost?

While we do a small amount of vermicomposting and other compost R&D at our facilities, the majority of the compostable material that we collect is processed with our partner facilities across New Hampshire and Vermont. We work within state regulations to set up partnerships with commercial composting facilities, farms, and transfer stations with composting programs. We take into account distance, seasonal accessibility, tipping fees, and end use when determining where to take our compostable material for processing.

We’re always interested in setting up new partnerships—if you’re a farm or other processing facility interested in taking in compostable material, get in touch with us to chat!

  1. Why do you charge for the service?

The services that we offer have costs associated with them, and we need to cover these costs for our business to be sustainable. Some of the costs of offering our composting services are:

  • Tipping fees paid to our composting partners
  • Wages paid to our employees for their time spent collecting buckets, washing buckets, and spreading the word about composting
  • Fuel for our compost collection vehicles
  • Rent at our facilities
  • Cost of purchasing buckets and liners
  • Insurance and worker’s compensation to cover our vehicles and employees
  • Equipment maintenance and repair

The other thing to keep in mind is that while food scraps are one ingredient in making finished compost, there are lots of other ingredients necessary. Facilities that make finished compost need to pay for the land, machinery, and labor to process the compostable material into a finished product. A lot of businesses barely cover these costs with the price of their finished compost. This is often part of the reason why these facilities charge tipping fees to process the material that haulers like Upper Valley Compost Co. brings them.

  1. Do I get finished compost back?

Curbside subscribers are able to request one bag of finished compost each month as part of their subscription. We deliver the finished compost to your home on the pickup day following your request. Our Dropoff service is intended as a stripped down version of the service, so we don’t offer finished compost as a part of that subscription. Dropoff customers are of course welcome to purchase finished compost from Upper Valley Compost Co.

  1. Can I buy finished compost?

Yes! We’ve recently started partnering with Grow Compost of Vermont (one of our compost facility partners) to offer finished compost for purchase. Email us to find out more.

  1. I thought you weren’t supposed to compost meat and dairy. Why do you take these items?

Meat and dairy shouldn’t be composted in backyard composting systems because these items can smell and attract pests (including bears!) as they break down. However, while these items shouldn’t be composted at home in the backyard, they do break down in compost just fine. Commercial composting facilities and other experienced composters can manage the composting process to ensure that these items break down and any pathogens are destroyed in the process. Learn more about the composting process here. You can also learn more about hot vs. cold composting here.

  1. Why can’t I put paper towels in my compost bucket?

Some of our composting partners produce finished compost that is certified for use on organic farms. Regulations governing the feedstocks that these facilities can use in their compost operations dictate what can and can’t be used; most paper products are on the no-no list. We want to be able to work with these facilities, so we don’t allow materials (such as paper towels) in our compost buckets that they aren’t allowed to accept.

  1. Why can’t I put compostable dinnerware or cups in my compost bucket?

Some of our composting partners produce finished compost that is certified for use on organic farms. Regulations governing the feedstocks that these facilities can use in their compost operations dictate what can and can’t be used; most compostable dinnerware and cups are on the no-no list. We want to be able to work with these facilities, so we don’t allow materials in our compost buckets that they aren’t allowed to accept.