Composting is easy, free, and an important strategy for curbing harmful climate pollution.
Did You Know?
- The Johnston landfill is expected to reach capacity by 2034, according to a recent report published by the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation.
- Approximately 324,234 tons of Rhode Island’s municipal solid waste went to the Johnston landfill in CY18. According to RIRRC, about 32% – or 103,754.86 tons – of that could have been composted.
- IF that waste had been composted, it would have saved 44,033 tons of greenhouse gases from entering our atmosphere. That’s like taking 9,349 cars off the road for one year!
- Integrated recycling and composting efforts could double Rhode Island landfill’s lifetime through 2049.
Benefits of compost
- Compost can replenish poor soil and replace harmful fertilizer used to grow the food we eat.
- Reduces household waste.
- Cuts down harmful climate pollution that is created from food waste decaying in landfills.
- Can slow the flow of storm water which helps prevent flooding and water contamination.
- Helps decrease municipal waste costs.
- Own a business? Composting food scraps can help reduce costs associated with waste management.
COMPOSTING IN PROVIDENCE
DIY Backyard Composting
CLICK HERE for everything you need to know about backyard composting
The ideal place to make compost is your own backyard or outdoor area.
You can purchase a compost bin from the Department of Public Works or Rhode Island Resource Recovery, or build your own using low cost materials. Search “DIY compost bins” on Google or YouTube for helpful tips.
HANDY TIP: worried about pests and smell? Follow these steps for a happy, rat-free, odorless compost pile
Indoor Composting Using Worms
CLICK HERE for a step-by-step guide on vermicompost
You can compost indoors using worms (vermicomposting)! A special type of worm called the “red wiggler” (Elsenia fetida) eat their weight in organic matter each day and digest food scraps to create nutrient-rich compost.
Food Waste Composting: drop off locations & curbside pickup services
Can’t compost at home, but want to do something with your food scraps? Are you a restaurant or business with large amounts of food waste? You can call a service to pick up your kitchen waste, or you can drop off food waste at various composting depots across the city. This ensures your unused food will go towards healthy growth, rather than rotting in Rhode Island’s landfill.
HANDY TIP: collect household foodscraps in an airtight countertop container and keep in the freezer in between collection/drop off days. No smell, no fruit flies!
Food Scrap Pick Up Services
Food Scrap Drop Off Locations
- Community Libraries of Providence: Mount Pleasant Library
- Urban Greens Co-Op Market
- Compost Depot at Frey Gardens
- Ring Street Garden
- Sessions Street Garden
- Fox Point Community Garden
- 181 Valley Street
- 425 West Fountain St. Plaza
- Peace and Plenty Community Garden
- Community Libraries of Providence: Washington Park Community Library
- Edgewood Community Garden
- Community Libraries of Providence: Wanskuck Library
- Community Libraries of Providence: Rochambeau Library
MAP: Food Scrap Drop Off Locations
Providence Restaurants Closing the Loop with Compost
Composting helps restaurants reduce their carbon footprint and saves restaurants money. According to a 2014 study, about 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted globally each year, and around 40% of that comes from restaurants. However, recent research suggests that the average benefit-cost ratio for food waste reduction programs in restaurants was 7:1 over a three-year time frame, meaning that $7 could be recovered for every $1 invested.
This list was sourced from the Zero Waste Providence 100×2020 initiative. Know of any other restaurants that compost? Tell us at and we will add to the list.
Center for EcoTechnology – waste reduction technical assistance for businesses and restaurants
Providence Gardenworks – technical assistance & education for urban composters
RIRRC Compost Bins Sold via PVD DPW (Annual)
WATCH: Composting 101
Video courtesy of our friends at Southside Community Land Trust