Trusted Places to Get Free Compost Near You

If you enjoy gardening, it’s likely that you’re constantly seeking for methods to improve the health of your soil and plants. Are you looking for compost near me? You can use compost for organic gardening, organic farming, landscaping, and other horticultural activities.

compost near me

What is Composting?

Composting is the breakdown of organic material. It is nature’s recycling method.

Composting converts organic waste, such as food waste, manure, leaves, grass trimmings, paper, wood, feathers, crop residue, and so on, into beneficial organic manure.

Compost, on the other hand, is decomposed biological matter made from plant materials such as leaves, shredded twigs, and kitchen scraps.

Composting is an excellent method of recycling leaves and other yard waste.

It can be used to make low-cost fertilizers for lawns, gardens, and farms.

Main Types of Compost

The composting process is primarily determined by the environmental factors existing in the composting process.

Which includes oxygen, temperature, humidity, organic material, and the size and activity of bacterial diversity.

Let’s take a good review of the various types of composting.

Thermo/Aerobic Composting

  • It is made from a variety of ingredients mixed together in piles or long windrows.
  • Microorganisms are largely responsible for the breakdown of these ingredients.
  • Every few days, the compost must be turned.
  • You should likely add a lot of eco-friendly matter that is rich in nitrogen, such as grass cuttings.
  • The temperature of the compost will rise as the microbes break the high-nitrogen shavings.
  • This expedites the operation. In addition, water from a nozzle or watering can may be required.
  • If you don’t keep it moist and consistently turn it, the smells from the composting process will be unpleasant.
  • You should also leave plenty of air space in the compost bin.


This is similar to the preceding, but the ingredients are decomposed by worms. For this type of composting, red worms are popular.

Vermicomposting is superior to the other two methods for the following reasons:

  • There is very little odor (it should smell “earthy”).
  • It is not necessary to “turn” frequently.
  • Can be done both inside and outside.

Neither aerobic nor vermicomposting is inherently superior.

They may each have minor advantages, but the quality and variety of materials used, as well as the overall process quality, are far more important.

In theory, using a combination of both could be optimal, and we say go for it if you have the opportunity.

Anaerobic Composting

  • Simply by looking at the word, you can tell that anaerobic is the inverse of aerobic.
  • Anaerobic composting requires very little exertion.
  • Simply toss shavings into a compost heap or composter and leave it alone for a year or more.
  • But, hold your nose! Anaerobic composting reeks like hell.
  • When there is no oxygen, some vicious bacteria take over.
  • This is what tends to happen in a dump site, and it is not good for you.
  • Dumpsites produce so much methane that they can explode!
  • Methane is a harmful greenhouse gas to the environment.
  • A reeking abandoned anaerobic composter has wrecked many a garden party!

What is Compost Used for?

In addition to landscaping, organic farming, horticulture, and urban agriculture, compost is utilized in gardening.

Compost is highly helpful to the soil since it is nutrient-rich.

Composting Requires Three Elements

  • Browns: These contain materials like branches, leaves that have fallen off, and twigs. The brown materials provide you compost carbon.
  • Greens: They include things like coffee grounds, fruit pits, grass clippings, and vegetable peels. The green substances offer nitrogen.
  • Water: The moisture from the water will help in the decomposition of the organic stuff. Having the proper ratio of water, greens, and browns is essential.

What are the Benefits of Compost?

Compost has lots of benefits, like:

  • It helps soil to retain moisture.
  • It acts as a fertilizer, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Compost promotes the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, which is rich nutrient-filled material.
  • Composting reduces methane emissions from landfills.
  • Composting lowers your carbon footprint.
What are the Benefits of Compost?

Where Can I Find Free Compost Near Me?

Well, try these places.

1. Lookout for Local Programs

Several communities have programs that provide citizens with free compost as part of an effort to be more ecologically friendly.

RethinkWaste, distributes free compost, for instance, to people in specific regions of California, including San Mateo.

Residents of the RethinkWaste service area can pick up free compost all year long in San Carlos thanks to the initiative.

2. Craigslist

Whether it’s free firewood or free pallets for DIY projects, you can get pretty much anything for free on Craigslist

How to Find Free Compost on Craigslist
  • Go to your city’s free Craigslist section.
  • Find the “For Sale” Section
  • Under this section, click on “Free.”
  • Input the word “compost” into the search space.

3. OfferUp

Most people are familiar with OfferUp as a marketplace where you can buy and sell stuff nearby. You can actually discover free items there as well. Simply have a look at the giveaway area.

There are quite a few people giving away compost on there.

4. Freecycle

If you haven’t heard of Freecycle, you should definitely check it out.

People can use Freecycle to give and receive items for free.

Take a look around the site; you might be able to get some free compost there.

5. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is another online market, like OfferUp, where people go to buy and sell stuff. They also have a section where you can get stuff for free.

6. CompostNow

A firm called CompostNow can come to your house and collect food waste in exchange for free compost.

How it Works:
  • After you sign up, CompostNow will bring a clean container to your home the following week.
  • Pizza boxes, coffee grounds and filters, paper goods, and any food leftovers, such as bones, dairy products, and coffee grounds, should all be disposed of in the bin.
  • Every maintenance day, CompostNow will replace your bin with a clean one, so you don’t have to worry about odors or waste.
  • It will check your compost production and trash reduction down to the last grain.
  • You then receive compost. You can either have it delivered to you or share it with the company’s farm and garden associates.

A “what is compostable” magnet and a compost collecting bucket is also included.

Where to Get Free Compost Materials

Where to Get Free Compost Materials

7. Local Departments and Agencies

The public receives free natural resources from a number of regional governments and organizations.

Ash, aquatic weeds, or trees and bushes that have been chopped can all be examples of these.

8. Local Farms

While farmers usually reuse a large portion of their organic waste, you might be able to find some fantastic items.

They could have everything from eggshells to manure, or even old hay, depending on the sort of farm they are on.

Orchards are a great place to find rotten fruits of many kinds.


9. Riding Stables

Manure is one of the most sought-after composting ingredients, and stables are certain to have a lot of it.

If you have one close by, it can be a treasure trove for the future of your garden and you’ll be assisting them in reducing their trash.

It’s a win-win.

10. Mills and Factories

You can take use of a variety of mills and industries that employ natural goods. To name a few, there are breweries, wineries, canneries, flour mills, cider mills, and lumber mills.

You can get ingredients for your compost from slaughterhouses and meat-processing facilities.

11. Shops and Businesses

There are probably plenty of shops and establishments in your vicinity that are discarding stuff you could possibly use.

Food waste from restaurants and supermarkets is an example.

Human hair from salons and barbershops, as well as pet hair from dog groomers, are other alternatives.

An abundant quantity of organic waste from trimmings, cuttings, and dead plants can frequently be found at flower shops.

And members that work with wood for sawdust.

12. The Black Friday Composting Bonanza

Black Friday – that stressful day after Thanksgiving.

Because all of those people that decorated for Harvest Fests and Thanksgiving suddenly have no use for those straw bales, pumpkins, gourds, and corn stalks.  

Just asking for them will bring you excellent content for your pile right away.

13. Coffee Houses

Little coffee shops are a terrific way to locate coffee grounds, which are the ideal item to add to your collection. Several coffee shops really regularly store their grinds for consumers.

Some bigger chains even create a list of customers to save ground for. Thereby ensuring that the by-product of all of their brewing doesn’t end up in the local landfill. 

Several of the same coffee shops also provide breakfast and lunch, making them potential sources of more reading material.

14. Landscapers & Tree Companies

Ask the large shredder-equipped tree trimming and lawn care vehicles to drop off a load at your house if you see them traveling through your neighborhood.

You’d be shocked at how many individuals are happy to provide you with heaps of shredded sweetness for free.

Often saving them a hefty fee and a trip to the dump.

This is where common sense comes in handy – it’s a good idea to see what’s in the load.

15. Grocery Stores & Produce Stands

For composting materials, small supermarkets and food stalls can be a veritable gold mine.

Large chain businesses could also work out for you, but smaller mom-and-pop shops are frequently friendlier and more accommodating nearby.

You might be surprised to learn that the store manager is prepared to keep it for you if you just inquire about what is currently done with expired food.

Although the decaying fruit, potatoes, and tomatoes are past their peak as food, they are still fantastic additions to any compost pile.

16. Horse Stables, Farm Hobbies, and Farmers

Get to know your local farm community.  

Several small horse stable owners and hobby farmers in the area are more than happy to give away their manure to gardeners.

Horse Stables, Farm Hobbies, and Farmers

17. Fall Leaves & Clean-up Time

The best time to gather free items for the compost bin is in the fall, which is something we bring up frequently.

A quick tour of a few forested neighborhoods can provide you with an unending supply of leaves for your pile.

It’s a wonderful method for us to have a year-round supply for mulching garden plants or adding to compost piles in the future.

18. Neighbors & Friends

You are associated with your neighbors who reside across the street and next door? The people you wave to every day but have never met.

They are a tremendous source of supplies for composting, and this is a wonderful way to get to know them! They consume eggs, coffee in the morning, potato peels, and grass clippings.

So, if they have already composted, you can be out of luck.



However, keep in mind that starting a home composting program is one of the finest methods to acquire compost for nothing.

Start placing things like fruit peels and paper in your compost bin or establish your own compost pile.

So composting at home is a good option.

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