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composting in action; some local practices


Individual residence using back yard (Shelley)

Number of people using:1.

Number of people using this method in Rochester area: Good question!

Equipment involved: Hardy plastic bin with top. Plus two passive piles: three-sided pile for leaves; stake and netting structure.

Where is it? Way back in the yard with a back door holding container for the winter.

What can be composted: Vegetable kitchen scraps, yard debris, coffee, coffee filters.

Cost: Almost nothing! The bin was a hand-me-down.

What happens to the compost? It turns into compost over a year, yields 4-6 four-gallon buckets a year.

How long using this method? 12-15 years.

Satisfaction: 10/10, very satisfied.

Comments: I talk it up with my neighbors and most start up in their own back yards. When I moved recently the new neighbors hadn't caught on yet, so I'm talking it up some more.


Individual residence using commercial service (Marti)

Number of people using 1

Number of people using this service: 1,000 residentials

Name of provider: Community Composting (There are others, too. This article is not an endorsement of a particular organization or business.)

Equipment involved: one green 4-gallon bin.

Where is it? Inside back door.

What can be composted? All table scraps including meat, bones, eggshells, paper towels, toilet paper rolls, coffee grounds and filters, indoor plants, yard waste.

Pick up weekly, choose a spot visible from the street. Bucket replaced with clean bucket.

Cost: $19/month, shared with neighbor as a single pickup, splitting a $38 charge.

What happens to the compost? compost delivered to household, 1-3 bags, depending on duration of service.

How long using this method? 4 years.

Satisfaction: 10/10, very satisfied.

Comments: It feels good knowing that food and

household waste will not go to the landfill!


Congregation using commercial service (Temple Sinai, Jackie)

Number of households using: at least 12, additions may be coming.

Name of provider: Impact Earth (

Equipment involved: 5 gallon white pail with lid.

Where is it? Pallet off to side of the building with empty containers, replaced with full containers during Sunday school period.

What can be composted? Lots! Check the website.

What cannot be composted? Human or animal waste, plastic bags or utensils, non-biodegradable materials.

Cost: $75 for 6 months ($12.50 per month)

What happens to the compost? Participants receive a bucket of compost twice a year. The company also provides compost for local organic farms.

How long using this method? One month.

Satisfaction: Very satisfied.

Comments: The company came to two parent meetings in October to explain the program and the congregation started up in November. If a household expects an unusual amount of compostables such as scraps from a large event, additional containers may be picked up at Brighton Farmers Market or the Public Market downtown. A kitchen service is also planned, 2 buckets for $24 a month or large toter $40 a month. Impact Earth can also provide compostable paper cups, etc. and has a zero waste philosophy.


Individual residence transporting to store for commercial service (Sarah/Abundance)

Number of people using: one household, two people.

Provider: Community Composting.

Equipment involved: One green bucket.

What can and cannot be composted: same as for #2

Cost: $10 to "buy" the bucket, then $4 every time you bring it in to swap, paid at Abundance.

How long using this method? Just started.

Satisfaction: So far so good!

Comments: It's good that even bread or greasy food can be included in the bucket. Anything that is scraped from a dinner plate goes in. The swap doesn't need to be a special trip if you're grocery shopping anyway. No set day required.

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Jim  Tappon
Jim Tappon
Dec 21, 2019

Great article. We personally compost in our back yard (option 1), but I want to share options with my church family to see if others want to get this service (option 3) for the church and have people bring in their bucket when they come to services on Sunday.

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