What is Composting?

Composting is the natural aerobic (with oxygen) decomposition of organic matter into nutrient rich soil.  We collect food scraps from your home or business weekly and get them into the composting process and out of the landfill.

Why Compost?

  1. Composting diverts our food scraps from landfills and incinerators.
  2. Our landfills are filling up, leading to longer and longer hauling distances, higher greenhouse gas emissions, higher waste management costs, and less space available for our trash. Food waste constitutes 22% of discarded municipal solid waste in America.
  3. When food scraps are left in a landfill or incinerated they release methane, a greenhouse gas that is 80 times as potent as CO₂.
  4. Composting is a sustainable alternative that puts the nutrients from our food scraps back into the earth and, eventually, our food system by using the finished compost as a fertilizer for local farms.
  5. Composting is the final step to completing a truly sustainable food cycle system.

What can I compost with Compost Crew?

For a comprehensive list, click here.  We also have a translated the list into Spanish.

How do I get started?

For residential service, sign up on our website (link in upper right) and before you know it, you’ll be recycling your food scraps and saving the world!  We provide weekly curbside collection of food scraps from homes throughout the DC Metro and Baltimore Metro areas.

If you’re a business, please request a quote and we can provide more details about options for collection bin sizes and service frequency.

I’m not sure if this is for me...Can I try it out for a month?

Absolutely! We offer a pay-as-you-go subscription for the low cost of $32/month with a money-back guarantee for the first month! If after trying our service you are not satisfied, please contact customer service to request a refund within 30 days of signing up.

Please note: If you are part of a municipal collection service, there are no fees associated with your service.

Can I compost my pumpkins?

Before you do, consider whether the pumpkin can still be used for cooking. You can make so many delicious recipes with the pumpkin. Even roasted seeds are a yummy fall treat! We will update this FAQ if we find any opportunities to donate pumpkins in good condition to local food recovery organizations.

If you can’t find a use for your pumpkin, or if its no longer in edible condition, then compost it with us.

Please note: If your pumpkin(s) can’t fit inside of your Compost Crew bin, please notify us so we are aware of the additional food waste being collected. This will help us keep our drivers safe and ensure we have enough space in our trucks to collect the food scraps from all of our customers. You can notify us through the customer portal in the Shop, by selecting the appropriate product that matches up with your pumpkin(s). Compost Crew needs to be notified in advance through the customer portal in order to collect any pumpkins that are outside the bin.  If we are not notified, our drivers will not collect your extra pumpkins.

Why not use the garbage disposal?

Composting is better than using a garbage disposal for two reasons:

  1. Using a garbage disposal causes wear and tear on a sewer system that is costly to maintain.
  2. The food scraps are mixed with the other unsavory parts of a sewer system (need we say more?), and the finished product is therefore of a lower quality with a limited range of applications. Conversely, compost is a highly enriching soil amendment with a wide range of applications.

Where do I put the bin? Doesn’t it smell? What about rodents?

Our bins are more secure than your usual trash bin.  We offer a variety of bin types that are all secured through latches or a screw-top lid.  No rodents are getting in there, and they wouldn’t want to anyways, because the bin is completely odor-free when closed!

Remember that everyone that starts composting was already putting their food scraps somewhere. Usually, they went in a bag (or not) and into a trash receptacle. But that trash receptacle wasn’t designed for composting! No latch, no seal, and often times, thinner plastic.

From our residential to commercial services, Compost Crew uses bins and bags that are designed for food scraps. We provide the tools, services, and (perhaps more importantly), the education and training to ensure that your composting program will go off without a hitch, so that you can convert naysayers to do-gooders and partners in composting.

Residential customers usually leave the collection bin at the curb while keeping a smaller bin in the kitchen. Commercial customers usually put the compost collection bin(s) in the same location as their current waste receptacle(s) and/or loading dock.. And, though the final decision on how to use our service is up to our customers, we are happy to provide assistance and/or advice as needed.

When and where should I leave my bin out?

Our drivers get on the road as early as 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., so it’s best to place your bin out the night before your scheduled pick-up to avoid a missed collection.  Leave your bin within 10 feet of the curb or another truck-accessible roadway, where it is visible and accessible, and we’ll come get it on your pick-up day.

If you live in an apartment building, please make sure building management has approved the use of our service, and agreed on a designated collection location.  Email us this location in advance so we know where your bin should be delivered and where it the food scraps will be collected. Please note the bin must be outside, accessible 24-hours, and within 10 feet of a truck accessible roadway (for example: a loading dock).

Where do our compostables and food scraps go?

We partner with two commercial composting facilities and also have our own composting facility at One Acre Farm, Butler’s Orchard and another at ECO City Farm.  Depending on your location, your food scraps will go to one of these locations.  The two commercial facilities are the Prince George’s County Organics Composting Facility owned by Prince George’s County and operated by Maryland Environmental Services and the Balls Ford Road Composting Facility in Manassas, VA, a public partnership between Free State Farms and Prince William County.

How do I get my free compost?

Our customers are eligible to receive free compost twice a year, once each in the fall and spring. We provide two 25 pound bags to all of our customers that want some black gold! Keep a look out for an email with information on how to reserve yours.

Where do I purchase bins and liners?

Below shows the types of bins and associated liners that we have available for sale. To place an order, just email products@thecompostcrew.com with what and how many of each you would like, and we’ll process your order.

We have certain liners available for purchase in the shop on our customer portal, including rolls of liners for the kitchen caddy.  You can also purchase compostable liners from our partner, BioBag, on Amazon, which may result in faster delivery times.

If you want to purchase compostable-ware and/or compostable liners not listed on our site, just make sure that they are BPI-certified compostable: http://www.bpiworld.org/.

How should I use the rubber band that comes with my bin?

  • Rubber bands are a convenient way to keep your liner secured to your bin and help prevent it from slipping/folding when you place food scraps inside. Keep in mind, it is easy for the driver to inadvertently grab the rubber band when collecting your food scraps. This is not intentional. Here are some tips to help preserve your rubber band and keep it with your bin at all times.
  • On your service day, either remove the rubber band entirely or roll it down on your bin below the liner. Please don’t tie the compostable liner. Return the rubber band to secure the new liner once service has been completed.
  • In the event your rubber band should break or go missing, please reach out to us and our driver will replace it on your next collection day.

What if I go on vacation and need to temporarily suspend pickups?

No problem! You can login to the customer portal to schedule service skips up to 10 weeks in advance.  When you mark your service to be skipped, we will credit your account the cost of that week’s service.  If you don’t know how to access the customer portal, please email us and we’ll help you get logged in.

Please note: If you are part of a municipal service, this option may not be available.

Help! My bin is damaged or has gone missing!

If your bin is damaged or gets lost, simply call or email us at 301-202-4450 or service@thecompostcrew.com and we’ll deliver you a new bin on your next pickup day. A replacement fee to cover our costs may be assessed depending on the situation.

What is your holiday schedule?

Our holiday schedule is listed below, but your scheduled pickup day will be constant unless you hear differently directly from us via email. Please leave your bin out until collected.


2022 Holiday Schedule

  • Memorial Day – Monday, May 30
    • Commercial customers will be serviced as scheduled
    • All residential customers will have service shifted back by one day (i.e. Monday customers will be serviced on Tuesday, Tuesday customers on Wednesday).  Saturday customers will be shifted back 2 days, to Monday, June 6.
  • Independence Day – Monday, July 4
    • Commercial customers will be serviced as scheduled
    • All residential customers will have service shifted back by one day
  • Labor Day – Monday, September 5
    • Commercial customers will be serviced as scheduled
    • All residential customers will have service shifted back by one day
  • Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples’ Day – Monday, October 10
    • All customers will receive service as scheduled
  • Veterans Day – Friday, November 11
    • All customers will receive service as scheduled
  • Thanksgiving – Thursday, November 24
    • Residential customers who normally receive service on Thursday will not receive service this week in order to give our drivers a paid day off for the holiday.  Customer service will be in touch with you ahead of the holiday to review your options for your food scraps during this time.
    • Commercial customers will receive service on Friday, Nov. 25 instead if needed.
    • Residential customers on Friday routes will be serviced on Saturday, November 26 and Saturday customers will be serviced on Monday, November 28.
  • Christmas observed – Monday, December 26
    • All customers will receive service as scheduled
    • Our customer service team will be off for the holiday.

As always, please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

What should I do if I have excess compost that won’t fit in my bin?

We know sometimes people have overflow from parties and other events.  We are happy to collect it, but we do need to make sure that our trucks have the capacity for your extra scraps!

Please request an “overflow pickup” from the Shop in our customer portal. Overflow has a one-time cost of $5.00.

After you have made the request, leave the extra compostable materials in a secured bin and/or bag (preferably compostable) right next to your Compost Crew collection bin the night before your pick-up day. Clearly label it to make sure our driver knows to take it.

If you tend to have overflow, consider upgrading to (2) 7-gallon bin to double your volume and avoid any overage pickup charges.

I Still Have More Questions.

No problem! Just shoot us an e-mail at info@compostcrew.com or call (301) 202-4450