Talking Dirt: Where to Compost in Philly
A few months ago, my cousin was visiting from Seattle when I noticed her circling around my kitchen with her leftover lunch scraps, clearly looking for something. Just as I was about to ask her what she was searching for, she asked, “Do you guys have a compost bin?” I shook my head and she said, “Oh, everyone composts in Seattle.” There, the government collects residents’ compost—stuff like egg shells, food scraps and yard leaves—weekly, along with recyclables and garbage, making the eco-friendly waste-management option super accessible.
Here in Philly, we might not have the luxury of putting our compost out with the garbage on trash night, but there are a few local composting businesses that make reducing your carbon footprint pretty darn simple. Here, four local spots that collect your food scraps so they don’t end up in a landfill.
Cost: $15 per month
Bennett Compost provides residential compost pick-up, covering pretty much the entire city of Philadelphia. When you sign up, they’ll give you a bucket and assign you a pick-up night based on your location. Then you’ll put all your compostables in the bucket—the list of what can and can’t be composted is here— and it will be picked up weekly. Simple as pie.
The Compost Coop
Where: 1825 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia
Cost: $50 for an annual membership, $25 for an annual working membership
Drop-off times: No designated times.
The Compost Coop provides drop-off composting services to residents, along with bike pick-up for small businesses in the Fishtown and Kensington areas. The Coop has two annual membership options for residents: You can go with an annual membership for $50, or you can opt for a working membership, where you volunteer at The Compost Coop occasionally and pay half the annual fee. After sign-up, members get an introduction to the space along with the combination codes, and from then on they are free to drop off their compost whenever they feel like it. Compost is also up for grabs by members, as long as it’s available.
The Dirt Factory
Where: 4308 Market Street, Philadelphia
Drop-off: Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m., Saturdays from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
The Dirt Factory is a community composting facility for the residents of University City. Folks can drop off up to five gallons of organic food waste each week—accepted waste items are listed here—for free. University City residents are also welcome to any compost that’s available at no cost.
Cost: $20 per month
Kitchen Harvest provides residential compost pick-up to the western suburbs of Philadelphia. After sign-up, they’ll hook you up with a bucket to fill to the brim with accepted compost items, which they’ll pick up twice each month.
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