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As a crafter of high quality, plant-based compost and vermicast, we hold ourselves to the highest standard.


When you partner with us for food waste collection, you're held to the same standard! After all, you're helping to craft organic soil amendments by participating in our compost program. Adhering to our standards means that your compost contributions should be food-focused and free of meat, bones, and other non-compostables for best results.

There are two types of compost inputs that make quality compost happen: greens (rich in nitrogen) and browns (rich in carbon). We'll take care of hand-sorting your inputs into the correct ratios for proper composting.



  • ALL fruits

  • ALL vegetables

  • Peelings

  • Seeds, pits, rinds

  • Pickled or dried fruits & veggies

  • Plant-based meat substitutes

  • Herbs and spices 

  • Coffee grounds

  • Tea bags

  • Fresh grass clippings

  • Expired floral waste

  • Pasta, rice, bread

  • Cheese

  • Expired or spent grains and hops


  • Egg shells

  • Shredded newspaper

  • Dry grass clippings, straw, or plant waste

  • Paper egg cartons

  • Unbleached napkins or paper towels

  • Nut shells

  • Shredded cardboard

  • Paper coffee filters

  • Dry leaves


  • Meat, seafood, bones

  • Oils in excess

  • Pet waste

  • Cleaning wipes, even 'compostable' ones

  • Napkins or paper towels that are bleached white or with cleaning agents or pet waste on them

  • Produce stickers or rubber/plastic banding

  • Containers, cutlery, packaging and bags - even if they are marked 'certified compostable'

DOn't compost - recycle instead:

  • Paper - including office/copy paper, junk mail, or any bleached paper 

  • Paper board (like cereal boxes)

  • Plastics, foils, other recyclable non-degradables

are we a match?

We service every kind of household in RVA, but find we're particularly suited to:

  • The health conscious: Households that eat lots of produce, organic foods, or have vegetarian/vegan members

  • Animal lovers: Those who appreciate animal partnerships in waste diversion and processing

  • RVA-Local enthusiasts: we are 100% RVA based, from our collectors to our small family farm to our delivery network. 

  • Compost connoisseurs: hobby gardeners and professional growers alike who require high quality plant-based compost and worm castings.

  • Multi-taskers: we deliver fresh farm eggs, seasonal produce, live potted plants, dried herbs, and more goodies on demand with your bucket exchange.


frequently asked questions

What can go in the bucket? Periodically updated to include the latest inquiries.

Q: Our family eats meat and we feel wasteful throwing away meat scraps and bones. Do you think you will start accepting these items in the future?

A: We do not anticipate accepting meat, seafood, eggs, or bones in the future. Since we utilize chickens in our composting process, keeping these items out of the compost bins is imperative for their good health. More on that here. Additionally, meat is not a quality ingredient for hand-crafted compost. We are a plant-based compost crafter, and our goal is to produce compost to the highest standard. 

Q: I thought some foods are toxic to chickens? And considering that you can’t control what people put in the bucket & it’s hard to go through it thoroughly to pick out questionable scraps - how does this all really work?

A: Botulism is our primary concern - so we ask that meat, fish, and eggs be excluded from the bucket. When these items decompose, they can grow a toxin called clostridium botulinum that can make chickens sick. 

While there are some items that may make a chicken ill in very large quantities (for instance apple peels), in moderation almost any food does not pose a problem. We empty the buckets manually into the chicken bins, pick out any contraband, and look for potential problems. We are a small operation, so are able to put our full attention into the health and well being of our hens.

Q: I'm vegetarian and I eat plant-based protein. I know that they have gotten pretty convincing in the last few years and most of the plant-based proteins now look like the real thing. If I were to compost it, would it be flagged as being meat and discarded? 

A: We trust that our customers do not include meat in their buckets, so you should be just fine putting in plant-based meat substitutes. If actual meat were to be included, it would be readily apparent (read: maggot activity) and hastily removed from the bins.

Q: Do you accept leftover salad that has dressing on it, or leftover pasta that has oil or sauce on it?

A: Oils are acceptable in moderation. While oil does not compost, the chickens will eagerly consume foods containing oils and spices. We only ask that our partners be mindful when including oils, for the health and longevity of our bipedal helpers.

Q: Can I include the strained fruit remains from shrubs? How about pickles?

A: Yes, both pickles and shrubs fruit will be fine in the bucket. Vinegar is healthful for chickens!

Q: Are vegetables that have been used for broth allowed? The broth was cooked with whole spices (star anise, cinnamon, clove, etc) that were removed after cooking.

A: The spices listed here, and most others, are beneficial!

Q: Can I include chopsticks or popsicle sticks?

A: These items are fine in moderation, but they break down at a much slower rate than food waste. We'd prefer they were excluded if possible.

Q: I get Blanchards coffee which comes in bags that claim to be compostable. Can you accept these?

A: Unfortunately Biotre coffee bags do not break down in our composting method, which uses primarily animals. Therefore we prefer these items NOT be included if possible. They will still do better in the landfill than plastic!

Q: I got takeout recently and the container says "certified compostable - plant fiber will turn into soil in 90 days in a commercial composting system." The manufacturer is WorldCentric. Can I put that in my bucket?

A: We use animals to process collected food waste, and are not considered a commercial composting facility. 'Certified compostable' containers aren't a great fit for our composting method (the chickens don't want anything to do with them!). Therefore we prefer these items NOT be included if possible. 

Q: A friend of mine says that latex gloves and corks are compostable. Not on your list, so what do you think? Should I put them in the compost bucket?

A: Unfortunately latex gloves are NOT compostable in our bins. Although they are made from a natural source, for the following reasons we cannot compost them:

- We use chickens to compost waste, and the gloves would pose some risk to their health should they swallow latex pieces. 

- The gloves break down at a much slower rate (years). 

- Gloves are often used to do icky tasks - like preventing chemicals or other gross stuff from getting onto your skin. The 'gross stuff' would likely be considered a contaminant in our bins! 

- Latex is considered acceptable in commercial composting facilities that utilize heat in enclosed vessels to break down waste at a much faster rate.

Corks (natural, not synthetic) are A-OK!

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