Richmond Grows Gardens launches compost initiative

The Richmond Compost Initiative is funded through early fall 2023 thanks to a grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Four colorful compost bins sit near a fence with City of Richmond signage.

Look for the colorful bins to drop your compost.

Photo by RICtoday

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Richmond is piloting a citywide community composting program thanks to a $90,000 grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

If this sounds familiar, we first wrote about the Richmond Compost Initiative back in back in October 2021. It officially launched in July. Now, there are bins on the ground.

Richmond Grows Gardens, the city’s community garden program, is leading the project. Richmonders will be able to drop off organic matter at nearly 20 sites around the city.

From there, crews will make weekly collections to process the material and redistribute it to community gardens + green spaces. Richmond-based production farm Real Roots Food Systems will be the compost site manager.

Keep an eye out for the purple bins with green tops at several libraries + community gardens — they’re labeled “Compost Only” — where you can drop off your donations.

Here’s a quick guide on what can + can’t be composted with RCI. Pro tip: This info is also posted on signs near the drop-off bins.

You can compost:

🍂 Browns | Cardboard, shredded paper, paper bags, compostable bags, straw, leaves
🌿 Greens | Veggie + fruit waste, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, egg shells, rice and pasta (cooked or uncooked), bread, grass clippings

You cant compost:

🧀 Containers, cutlery, food scraps that have been cooked in oil, dairy, meat, plastics, metal, glass, and pet waste.

Remember this: If it didn’t grow, it can’t go.

The RCI pilot is funded through September 2023. Keep us com-posted by sending us pictures + testimony if you try out the program.

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