MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Curbside Food Scrap Pickups
Put your 5 gallon bucket with organic material from your kitchen on the curb on your designated pickup day by 9 am.
We will collect it and swap your full bucket out with a clean empty one. Your food scraps will be recycled into compost, an important soil amendment.
Benefits of Compost
Combats climate change
Improves soil health
Promotes healthier plant growth
Prevents soil erosion
Promotes drought resistance
Assists in stormwater management
Helps with wetland protection
STAY IN THE KNOW
👋Hi! Matt has years of experience in food service and gardening (and is now a certified compost operator!) and Katie has years of experience in farming and environmental activism (and was born and raised in Hampden). We saw a need for community members and small businesses to recycle their food scraps in the greater Bangor area and so 1 Earth Composting was born. We want to be your local resource for residential and commercial compost.
US Composting Council member.
Certified compost operator - 131 Compost School
We’re starting small but we have a big vision! Currently we offer a residential curbside food scrap pick up service in BANGOR, BREWER and HAMPDEN, MAINE. We plan to offer commercial and event services in the future and plan to expand our service area - sign up for our email list to be notified! We see a future where food scraps are not waste but rather an important resource. Finished compost will not be ready for about a year but when it's ready our customers will get a discount on bulk orders and a few buckets for free.
WHAT CAN YOU COMPOST?
If you can eat it, it goes in the bucket!
Any food product that was on your plate or cutting board.
Meat is OK, including (small) bones! Cooked or raw.
Yogurt, cheese, etc.
Leaves, twigs, flowers and garden scraps.
Coffee grounds and filters.
NO THANK YOU!
Please be sure to remove stickers, staples, or anything else
that you wouldn't want in your compost!
No pet hair, poop or litter. These can harbor parasites.
Commercially produced flowers have a lot of pesticide residue and chemical fertilizers.
Large Bones or Compostable Plastics
Large bones take a long time to break down. Compostable plastics have contaminants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I pay you to pick up my food scraps?
Short answer: you wouldn't throw your recyleables in the trash (would you?!), so why are you throwing your food scraps in the trash? Rotting food in the landfill is bad for the environment for many reasons. Recycling your food scraps into compost instead decreases powerful greenhouse gases and makes a carbon sink (removes carbon from the atmosphere) instead! Additionally, your trash will be less messy, stinky, and lighter. Long answer: rotting food in the landfill creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. In fact, if food waste were a country it would rank third highest as a greenhouse gas emitter (behind the US and China). Additionally, it fills up valuable space in our landfills and locks the beneficial nutrients left in the food in the landfill for hundreds of years. When you create compost instead, there are many benefits - methane production is decreased and the compost creates a carbon sink (it removes carbon from the atmosphere). Compost is an important soil amendment that decreases erosion, adds vital nutrients to the soil, and conserves water, among other benefits. As our landfills reach capacity, many towns are passing mandatory food scrap recycling programs and charging per pound for trash disposal. Our area isn't doing that yet, but may in the future!
How is this different than a backyard pile?
Our piles reach a tempeture of 131 degrees fahrenheit for a minimum of 15 days. This kills harmful pathogens and weed seeds, leaving a clean and safe, high-quality finished product. By composting with us, you can divert a greater variety of food scraps than you would be able to process at home. Plus, making compost is messy, stinky, hard work! Let us do the dirty work for you. Leave your food scraps to the experts so you can be confident they are getting properly processed.
What if I need another bucket?
Your subscription pays for one 5 gallon pick-up a week. We think for most households this will be more than enough. However if you need a few extra buckets for a one-time event at your normal service location, we can drop them off the week before and you can return them for a one-time charge of $5/bucket. Please give at least one day advance notice.
What's up with compostable products like packaging or flatware?
We'll be the first to admit that the composting industry still has big problems like contaminants, confusing labeling for “compostable” products (otherwise known as greenwashing), and quality control issues. At this time we are not accepting these products (but hope to in the future). Most products advertised as "compostable" are made from a natural polymer (e.g. derived from a crop, like corn) and are still made in a lab the same way as a synthetic polymer. These products are still essentially plastic. As a consumer, look for "BPI certified" (although again, we are not accepting any of these products at this time).
Where should I keep my bucket?
Most participants keep their bucket in the kitchen, either under a sink, in a cabinet, or a pantry. Or you could collect your scraps in a smaller counter-top container and keep your larger bucket in the garage, closet, or porch.
Why can't I compost that?
Composting is a complex natural process. To produce high quality compost, a "recipe" needs to be followed with the correct ratios, turning schedule, and inputs. If there are contaminants, they will not break down properly or they may have harmful components. Other materials will slow down or disrupt the biodegradation process. Remember, just like “wishful recycling” (throwing it in the recycling bin even though its not accepted) is harmful, so is wishful composting! If you wouldn't put it in your garden, please don't put it in your compost bucket!
What about using a garbage disposal to get rid of my food scraps?
A garbage disposal is definitely better than throwing food scraps into the trash. But composting is much better than using a garbage disposal! Using a garbage disposal wastes water, creates a type of sewage sludge, can cause plumbing problems, and often ends up in the landfill anyway. Additionally, the vital nutrients in the organic food waste will not be returned to the soil.
Will I get compost later?
In short, yes, but compost takes time to make. Your food scraps are a small but valuable part of the "recipe" we use to make a balanced nutrient rich product. Your food scraps only account for about 1/3 of the material needed to make compost and it is not a 1-1 ratio (5 gallons of food scraps doesn't turn into 5 gallons of compost). Currently we are working with our partner, Chickadee Compost, while we get started. The plan will be to offer a few buckets of compost for free to our subscribers and a dicount on larger bulk orders.