What we can compost
Our rule of thumb is if you can eat it, we can take it - that includes meats, fats, bones, and dairy. We also accept compostable food packaging, serveware, and utensils. See our full list here:
- All fruit and veggie scraps
- Leaves, plant trimmings, grass clippings, dry straw, wood shavings, and sawdust
- Coffee grounds, filters, and tea bags
- Egg shells and nut shells
- Shredded paper, unbleached paper towels, paper tubes
- Dairy Products
- Meat, fish, and eggs, including small bones
- Nuts and nut butters
- Bread products, pasta, rice, and grains
- Oils, dressings, and sauces
- Cooked foods such as leftovers, cooked meats, and oily foods
- Paper-based and biodegradable food packaging, serveware, and utensils clearly labeled compostable.
- Animal waste or large bones
- Diseased plants, weeds, or plants treated with pesticides of any sort
- Excessive liquids or oils
- Non-compostable food packaging like stickers, rubber bands, or tags
If you’re ever unsure, check out the side of your container for a high level overview of the Do’s and Don’ts. If you don’t find your answer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
We accept most paper-based and BPI Certified compostable food packaging, serveware, and utensils - we’re more than happy to collect such materials, but ask that they be kept separate from your main container so we can track them and adjust our process as needed. Feel free to leave this kind of material in an additional bag or box on top of your container for pickups. We’ll keep you updated on our progress!
The short of this answer is that we have the right equipment and systems in place to properly handle them, whereas processing these items in backyards or gardens can often have negative side effects. The bokashi process that we use is capable of breaking down trickier materials that cause trouble in smaller aerobic processes (a standard backyard compost pile or bin), such as meat, fats, and dairy.
Pick Ups & Drop Offs
Our residential services function as a monthly membership - members receive either a 3 or 5-gallon container from us, and we exchange it weekly for a clean one.
Drop offs work similarly to our pickup service. Clean containers are available at our Cypress Park location curbside to swap with your full container - just drop by and leave your container once a week at your convenience!
We currently offer our pickup services in the Northeast LA, Hollywood, and Pasadena areas, as well as limited parts of Downtown. We've officially launched our Westside route, starting with the areas around Venice, Santa Monica, and Brentwood.
If you’re located outside of these regions, or if you are unsure, please contact us to find out if we can accommodate pickups in your area, or to receive notifications when we expand our services to your location.
We’re currently actively working to expand to serve more of the Greater Los Angeles area. We’re always interested in serving new areas, but we also believe in expanding responsibly. It’s much easier for us to start a new route with three or more members - if you’re further away, try getting some friends to join in with you!
We recommend leaving your container in an easily accessible, street-level location, preferably out of direct sun and heat, if possible. Pickups occur on weekday evenings, depending on your location. We ask that containers are out by 6:30 PM at the latest - that said, your container can definitely hold its own outside for the day if it’s easier to put it out in the morning.
For a household of 1-2 people, we recommend a 3-gallon container. For a larger household, or a very active kitchen, we recommend a 5-gallon. If you’re not sure which option is the best fit for you, don’t hesitate to reach out!
We recommend keeping your containers inside to keep critters away and also out of direct sunlight, as long as your lid is pressed firmly onto your container you should barely even notice it’s there. Under the kitchen sink or near your other waste bins are both great spots!
Keeping a kitchen bowl of food scraps while cooking is also a good way to collect your food waste without needing to continually reopen your container, or keep it out in your kitchen. Just empty the bowl into the airtight container once a day or so.
Our pickup program at the moment consists of a weekly pickups. Containers don't need to be completely filled to be swapped for a clean one. That said, if you know you won't need an exchange, drop us a line and we'll save the stop!
The Big Picture
We use fermentation to process food waste and turn it into finished compost. This process requires much less physical space than a typical compost pile, and allows us to speed up the process significantly, while also reducing the natural emissions that happen in traditional composting - in short, our process is particularly suited for an urban environment like Los Angeles. Our "How It Works" page will cover this, and should be going live in the next few weeks.
At the moment, we're still honing our process to make sure that we end up with the best finished product - as a result, we haven't had more than a few small batches of finished compost at any given time. We're particularly interested in completing the food cycle, so we've been working with that compost to grow starter plants that we’ll soon be offering to our clients and community.
As we grow larger, and our compost supply does too, we're also looking to work with community partners that can benefit from finished compost, such as community and school gardens, urban gardening programs, and other local agricultural projects, as well as offer it to any local gardeners - especially our members - looking to perk their plants up.
If you have any suggestions for potential partners or uses for it, we're all ears!
We take our vehicle footprint seriously - we’re working on our strategy for a future fleet of electric vehicles. We only expand our services responsibly, and work to make our routes as efficient as possible. We highly encourage you to get your neighbors and friends involved to help us make our routes even more efficient!
We’re also working to develop a hybrid pickup and delivery model that will support local farm shares, zero waste retail, and other local partners to make the most of each of our pickup routes - stay tuned!