Harvest Cycle Compost2024-06-12T11:44:06-04:00

Harvest Cycle Compost

Harvest Cycle Compost

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Restaurant & Business  Partners
Contact Us

Email: compost@groundworkri.org
Phone: (401) 305-7174

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 into a transformative resource for the urban growers of our community.

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!

Current Member Login

Sign Up: Residential and Commercial Pick-up

  • Biweekly pick up of one, 5-gallon bucket: $16/month
  • Biweekly pick up of two, 5-gallon buckets: $21/month
  • Weekly pick up of one, 5-gallon bucket: $31/month

Sign Up: Drop-off Service

Unlimited access to one drop-off location: $10/month

Click on the icon of your preferred drop-off site in the map below and fill out the sign up form that appears in the pop up menu after you click the icon. You will receive instructions on how to use the site in a confirmation email. Scroll down for the free drop-off sign up form for SNAP recipients.


Free Drop-Off Program:

SNAP recipients or those in a similar, low- or fixed-income financial situation, you may participate in our drop-off program free of charge. Fill out the Free Drop-Off form and select your preferred drop-off location.

About Our Services


We offer weekly and biweekly pick-up services for the residents, restaurants, and other small businesses of Providence and some of the city’s surrounding areas. On your service days, we empty your bucket and leave an absorbent layer on the bottom to help mitigate odors. Buckets are delivered to members on their first service day.


We are working to build localized drop-off sites in every neighborhood of Providence. Our sites are open 24/7 and members can bring food scraps as often as they like! People that live outside of the city are welcome to join our drop-off service too!

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 pick-up services, or connect you with other composting businesses and efforts in Rhode Island 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

Groundwork Rhode Island & West Elmwood Housing Development corporation will soon break ground to create Providence’s first social venture compost processing facility! Community members will be able to bring food scraps and yard debris to be transformed into a rich soil amendment and transformative resource.

This hub will be located at 34 Fuller Street in Providence’s West End neighborhood. Remediation of the land will take place in Spring 2023. The hub is expected to open in Fall of 2023. This project was made possible by a cleanup grant from the RI DEM, Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund. Other funders include the RI infrastructure bank, the RI DOH, 11th Hour Racing, and many individual donors.

Give us your feedback by taking our community input survey here: West End Compost Hub: Residential Input.

We are currently fundraising to help with infrastructure costs that are not included in the grants we have received thus far. 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?2023-02-17T14:31:27-05:00

Please compost these!

  • Veggie scraps (e.g. corn cobs, orange peels, apple cores, etc.)
  • Egg shells
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Sugar packets
  • Wooden coffee stirrers
  • Paper napkins
  • Oil (in small amounts)
  • Citrus
  • Any kind of paper that’s not plasticky or waterproof looking
  • Bones and shells (a little meat on the bone is okay)
  • Small amounts of dairy
  • Small amounts of meat
  • Dead plants
  • Wooden/bamboo disposable cutlery

Please please don’t compost these

  • Plastic fruit stickers
  • Plastic produce ties
  • Receipts (they’re made of plastic)
  • Plasticky/waterproof looking paper or cardboard
  • Anything plastic!!
  • “Compostable” rigid plastic-looking cutlery and cold drink cups (not very compostable at all)
  • Big pieces of meat (bacon bits on your salad and the like is okay)
  • Large amounts of dairy (cheese on your salad and the like is ok)
  • Pet manure
  • Human manure (one day we hope! But not today)


If you really must…

“Compostable” plastic bags. These don’t break down well and glob up our pitchforks when we are trying to turn the compost. You also technically can’t use the resulting finished compost for organic agriculture. However, our first concern is preventing food waste from going to the landfill, so if you absolutely refuse to compost your food waste unless you can put it in a compostable plastic bag, then yes, go ahead. If you are worried about smell and grossness, we suggest freezing your compost until it’s time to put it out and/or lining your bucket with a paper bag


Here’s a visual representation of this list if you’d like to print it out and hang it near your compost bin:  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?2021-12-13T14:34:34-05:00

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.

In your customer portal, click on the “Give $10, Get $10” tab to get your unique referral link. Send this link to your friends and family, and when they sign up using it you will each get a $10 credit applied to your account as a thank you for spreading the word and helping us to expand our program! There is also a field toward the bottom of the sign up form to put the name of the referring person.

I would like some compost for my garden! How much can I get and when can I get it?2022-03-09T09:59:15-05:00

We guarantee our subscribers at least 5 gallons of compost a year. We usually have a large organized giveback in the spring, 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?2021-11-22T09:44:27-05:00

Yes, we are hosting volunteers! Watch our Volunteering with Harvest Cycle video to learn about the activities you may participate in while volunteering with Harvest Cycle, and please fill out this form if you are interested in volunteering.

We are at the Ring St. Garden processing compost every Thursday from 12pm-3pm, so stop by if you would like. We also periodically plan work days on the weekend. We will email you at the email you put in the form above with volunteer opportunities.

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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