Harvest Cycle Compost2021-09-21T12:19:16-04:00

Harvest Cycle Compost

Harvest Cycle Compost

Harvest Cycle Compost

Harvest Cycle is Groundwork RI’s community composting project. We collect food scraps from residences, restaurants and institutions across the city by bicycle and process them at our community garden in Federal Hill.

Groundwork RI’s youth and adult employment programs are both involved in the food scrap collection, processing, and food growing operations, creating economic opportunity for local residents!

Our Services


We offer weekly and biweekly household pickup service. We will bring you a 5 gallon bucket on your first pickup day, and empty that bucket either weekly or biweekly, leaving some dried leaves on the bottom to mitigate smell. We don’t swap out buckets. It saves us a lot of time and cost. Feel free to wash your own bucket! When you sign up, you let us know where you will leave your bucket on pickup days, and you will receive an email the day before each pickup reminding you to put your bucket out. Pickup subscribers are also welcome to use a selected drop-off site whenever they want.


We maintain four compost drop-off sites: Ring Street Garden, Fox Point Community Garden, and Sessions St. Park Garden are open 24/7, and Urban Greens is available during open hours. You may sign up for a drop-off only plan which allows you to drop off food scraps at your chosen site as often as you like. You may purchase a 5-gallon bucket which you can pick up at Ring Street when you sign up.

Pick Up Zones

If you live outside of these neighborhoods, you are welcome to become a drop-off member. Once we have enough drop-off members from a certain neighborhood, we will expand our pickup route to that area and you may switch!

Step 1: Register

All registrants must complete step 2 below after filling out the form.

Step 2: Payment Plan

Subscription Options

Drop-Off Subscribers: Purchase a Bucket

Drop-off participants may purchase an optional 5-gallon Harvest Cycle bucket here. Buckets are included in pick-up subscriptions, but pick-up participants can order a replacement bucket here as well.



We offer weekly bulk pickup for small restaurants. We provide fresh 18-gallon bins delivered weekly to the back door of your restaurant. Pricing starts at $50/month for one 18-gallon bin per week, and each additional bin is an extra $15/month. 2 bins weekly is $65/month, 3 bins is $80, etc. To set up a restaurant account, please email compost@groundworkri.org. Very small restaurants and food businesses who only need a bucket picked up weekly or biweekly may sign up as residential subscribers.

Custom Service Options

We are interested in hearing from small businesses, multi-unit apartment buildings, and institutions (schools, hospitals, etc.) about your composting interests and needs. We can help you set up a composting system on-site, provide pickup service through Harvest Cycle, or connect you with other composting businesses and efforts in RI that might better fit your size/volume of food scraps and needs.

Please contact us at compost@groundworkri.org with any questions or if you have any trouble registering online.

West End Compost Hub

We are currently fundraising to build the West End Compost Hub, a new compost facility with the capacity to process the food waste from an entire Providence trash route! Visit our Give Lively page to donate, or contact compost@groundworkri.org to inquire about corporate sponsorships.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I put in the compost?2021-03-03T17:07:39-05:00

Check out our can/cannot compost list! If you have specific questions left unanswered, feel free to email compost@groundworkri.org.

How do I prevent unpleasant smells and flies around my bucket?2020-08-06T10:00:00-04:00

Compost is inherently smelly. That said, there are things you can do to mitigate that. We provide tight-locking lids that keep the bucket relatively smell-proof when it is closed. We also provide dry leaves for the bottom of your bucket every time we pick up, which helps absorb liquids and  keeps your compost from going anaerobic. Some people keep their bucket outside and collect food scraps in another container on the kitchen counter. If you want to be extra careful, You can keep a paper bag in your freezer and put kitchen scraps into that every day until it is time to put them out for pickup. The paper bag can go straight in your bucket. If you notice a lot of liquid in your bucket, you can add extra “browns” to absorb it–dry leaves, wood chips, torn up paper, etc. During the summer, try to make sure you’re leaving the bucket in a shady place.

Where’s the best place to put my bucket for pickup?2020-08-06T10:01:28-04:00

If you have front steps or a porch, we recommend that! Buckets placed on the curb or near city trash cans often end up getting taken or thrown away with the trash. The side or back of your building is fine as well, although we do appreciate the publicity of having our bucket visible on your front stoop!

Do I receive something in return for referring a friend?2021-09-03T11:21:23-04:00

Yes! Telling your family and friends about our program is one of the best ways you can help us grow and make a greater impact.

There is a place at the end of our registration form where you can indicate if you were referred by someone and/or if you would like to refer someone else! Once the person you referred signs up, we will send you a one-month refund as a thank you for spreading the word and helping us to expand our program!

I would like some compost for my garden! How much can I get and when can I get it?2020-12-18T13:54:10-05:00

We guarantee our subscribers at least 10 gallons of compost a year. We usually have a large organized giveback in March, but feel free to email compost@groundworkri.org if you would like your share of compost at a different time of year.

I live in a large apartment building. Can I still get my compost picked up?2020-08-06T10:04:25-04:00

We haven’t had good luck picking up compost from apartment buildings. However, If you can find a safe, reliable and accessible location for the bucket where it won’t be taken or thrown away, we are willing to try! We recommend talking to a door-person, security guard or building manager to find a place where you have permission to keep the bucket. If there is a front desk person who is willing to keep guard over the bucket on pickup days, that is the best case scenario! Unfortunately, we don’t have time to go up to individual apartments to pick up buckets. 

If you would like to organize several tenants in the building (at least five) to have compost picked up from one place, and the building management is willing to work with you to ensure a safe and convenient pick-up spot, we’d be very excited to try to set something up.

Do you take volunteers?2021-08-31T13:18:20-04:00

We are now hosting a Volunteer Day on the 2nd Saturday of each month, weather permitting. Watch our Volunteering with Harvest Cycle video to learn about the activities you may participate in at the Ring Street Garden.

Please fill out this form if you are interested in volunteering.

We will email you monthly with information pertaining to the current month’s volunteer day.

*Due to the COVID protocols being in constant flux, we will limit the number of volunteers to only 5 people at a time. Masks and social distancing are required.

Do you have any resources for compost application or soil care?2021-04-28T15:06:58-04:00

Click here to view or download our Soil Health Guide!

It contains information and resources pertaining to soil and plant health, with topics such as the nutrient cycle, compost, soil testing, preparing soil for the first time, and maintaining existing cultivated soil.

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