Pilot Success Results in Permanent Program
The food scrap drop off program was in pilot stage throughout 2022. We were able to test program logistics at a few select locations and make adjustments as needed for optimum success.
The pilot was highly successful, diverting 54.21 tons of food scraps from the landfill through 2022 with about 1,100 households participating. The program became permanent in 2023 with funding to expand drop site access to all boroughs of the City, creating a full service program.
All updates to the program will be posted on this webpage.
Major updates will also be emailed to registered participants.
- 5/23/2023: A compost pop up (table) will occur on Saturday, May 27th from 12pm-2pm at Elliotborough Park on Line Street in collaboration with Charleston Moves and Sightsee Coffee and Shop. A compost representative will be available to answer any questions you have about the program and to give away free kitchen compost bins and liners bags to help residents get started composting.
- 5/22/2023: FREE kitchen compost caddies and compostable bin liners are still available for pickup, while supplies last, in the Permit Center at 2 George St, M-F, 9am-2pm. There are about 75 caddies available.
- 5/1/2023: FREE kitchen compost caddies and compostable bin liners are available for pickup starting May 1, while supplies last, in the Permit Center at 2 George St, M-F, 9am-2pm. There are about 100 caddies available.
- 5/1/2023: The Town of Mount Pleasant joins the program and adds three new drop sites.
- 4/19/2023: Permanent signage was installed at Governors Park.
- 3/29/2023: Permanent signage has been ordered for the 3 new drop sites, look for the new signs to be installed later in April and May.
- 3/28/2023: FREE COMPOST will be given away to participants attending a tour of Charleston County's Compost Facility at Bees Ferry on April 29. Please RSVP and learn more at www.charleston-sc.gov/compost.
- 3/1/2023: Five new drop sites opened on MARCH 1, expanding free compost access to thousands more residents! 3 in the City of Charleston and 2 on Isle of Palms, who joined the program.
- 2/16/2023: Service dates to empty the carts have changed. Now at Ackerman, Corrine Jones and Medway, the carts will be emptied on Saturday and Tuesday mornings. This is based on data and when we see the carts the most used, which is on weekends!
- 2/10/2023: 5 free compost workshops are scheduled all around the region and nearby the new drop sites. Learn how to get started, and pick up a free 2.5 gal kitchen compost caddy! BPI certified compostable bag liners for 2.5 gal bins, magnets and stickers will also be available!
- 1/1/2023: Composting will continue through 2023 and at least three new drop sites will be added to create a full service program throughout the City of Charleston. Locations have not been determined, please stay tuned for more information on new drop sites and new training and giveaway opportunities.
- 9/30/2022: Due to Hurricane Ian, the Bees Ferry Convenience Center drop site will not open until Monday, October 3. Also, most routes (except Ackerman) will only be picked up once this week. Carts will resume twice weekly servicing on Wednesday, October 5.
- 9/25/2022: Two new drop sites will begin operation on October 1, 2022, Bees Ferry Convenience Center and Folly Beach Community Center. Special thanks to Charleston County and Folly Beach for joining our program and hosting their own drop sites! Charleston Composts is now a regional program open to all residents in the greater Charleston region and all local governments in the region are invited to join the effort and offer composting to their residents easily through this existing platform.
- 8/1/2022: Trouble with fruit flies in your kitchen? Check out this new resources for tips on how to manage fruit flies in your kitchen compost bin!
- 7/25/2022: There are still FREE 2.5 gal compostable bag liners available in the Permit Center.
- 6/14/2022: Registered participants are encouraged to take a short SURVEY and share your experiences and ideas to improve the program!
- 6/13/2022: FREE 2.5 gal compostable bag liners for your kitchen bins are available to participants while supplies last (inventory updates will be posted on this page). TWO PICKUP OPTIONS:
- At the West Ashley Farmers Market compost tent, Wednesdays 3-7pm, June 15, 22 or 29th only.
- At the Permit Center, 2 George St. 1st floor, Monday-Friday, 9am-2pm. (except City holidays)
- Thanks to EcoSafe for the generous donation!
- 6/11/2022: Craving for a bug free kitchen this summer? BUGS are normal at the drop sites and can even be typical in your kitchen during hot summer months. UTILIZE YOUR FREEZER to temporarily store food scraps in between drop offs or before vacation and enjoy bug free composting and bug free garbage all summer long!
- 6/3/2022: New, more permanent, signage has been installed at each of the three drop sites.
- 5/19/2022: The Resiliency and Sustainability Advisory Committee of City Council reviewed program analytics and recommended we request funding to continue the program in the 2023 City budget. The budget review process will take place from July through December 2022, and is subject to City Council approval. Without funding approved in the 2023 budget, the program is likely to end on December 31, 2022.
You can review the analytics presented to the committee: Meeting Slides + Video
- 5/11/2022: Come visit the compost tent at the West Ashley Farmers Market this week and every week until at least the end of June. Bring your food scraps and drop them off before you shop!
- 5/1/2022: The pilot program has a new end date thanks to a grant extension, the pilot will now end on December 31, 2022.
- 4/28/2022: New carts were added to Medway and Ackerman Park today with our new chainless lids and latches! New signage will be coming soon. We found a plastic bag in a Medway cart today, please throw away plastic, it won't compost!
- 4/27/2022: We had another successful day enrolling neighbors at the West Ashley Farmers Market.
- 4/22/2022: Today, compost generated from the City’s drop site program was kindly donated to nourish our City Parks and gardens. Thank you, McGill Compost and Charleston Parks Conservancy.
RESIDENTS CAN HELP complete the compost loop by joining the drop site program (for free) and purchasing Charleston’s own Bees Best Compost at local retailers. Visit beesbestcompost.com
- 4/20/2022: We had a great day showcasing this program at the West Ashley Farmers Market! We will have a tent weekly at this market for the next few months, come see us!
- 4/19/2022: Someone at Ackerman is transporting food scraps in a bread bag (great idea!) but forgetting the bag itself is plastic and is not compostable. Please dispose of that bread bag in the trash next time. Thank you.
- 4/17/2022: Over 800 people are participating in the new compost program!
- 4/15/2022: New permanent signage was installed at Ackerman today! We'll see how it goes and add signs to the other sites soon after. Please send us your feedback if you have any suggestions.
- 4/14/2022: Our new lids and latches are in and they are in place at Ackerman Park starting today. We'll test them there first and make any adjustments before we add them to the other locations. Please let us know if you have any challenges or suggestions.
- 4/12/2022: We are adding a 3rd weekly pickup to Ackerman Park as those carts have been filling up lately and we will be picking up at the West Ashley Farmers Market starting April 20! The new service route starting next week (only at Ackerman) will be Monday night, Wednesday morning and Saturday morning.
- 3/22/2022: Progress Update! We hope to have new lids with new locking mechanisms to test soon and we are getting permanent signage installed next month.
- 3/14/2022: When in doubt, throw it out! A Styrofoam takeout container and a bag full of foam packing peanuts was found at Ackerman. These are not allowed.
- 3/19/2022: A reminder to use both carts! When the servicing the carts at Ackerman on this day, one cart was so filled up it was overtopping and could barely be picked up by the truck, while the other cart was only a quarter full.
- 3/10/2022: Our public workshop last Saturday went great, about 40 people were there and over half were already composting!
- Don't forget, FREE BACKYARD COMPOST BINS are being given away on April 16, 2022 first come, first served, by Charleston County.
- 3/3/2022: There are STILL SPOTS AVAILABLE at our second WORKSHOP to LEARN HOW TO COMPOST, scheduled for Saturday, March 5th, 11am-noon at Frothy Beard. You can get a FREE BACKYARD COMPOSTER (later this spring) if you attend this workshop. Space is limited, please RSVP. Learn more and RSVP at: http://evite.me/6sDbSsYdpJ If you can't make it you can view the recording of a similar online workshop and/or see the presentation slides.
- 3/2/2022: Starting next week, the carts at Ackerman Park will be emptied on Tuesday and Saturday early mornings to help create more space in the carts as many drop off on weekends. We will test this option at Ackerman only. Pick up will remain the same (Wednesday and Saturday early mornings) at Corrine Jones and Medway.
- 3/1/2022: Ackerman participants, please remember Medway Park is also an option and has more room! Ackerman Park has the highest enrollment and sometimes the carts are filling up. Medway has the lowest participation and those carts have more room, so if you live near Medway please consider using those bins instead of Ackerman.
- 2/23/2022: Another WORKSHOP to LEARN HOW TO COMPOST is scheduled for Saturday, March 5th, 11am-noon at Frothy Beard. You can get a FREE BACKYARD COMPOSTER if you attend this workshop. Space is limited, please RSVP. Learn more and RSVP at: http://evite.me/6sDbSsYdpJ
- 2/21/2022: Please tighten chains so there is no slack when you lock carts so it is not possible for someone to lift them open slightly and litter the carts. i.e. with a dog poop bag. We are brainstorming ways to make the chains shorter and attach them to the carts to make this easier for you and hope to test options soon.
- 2/20/2022: The free SWAG, (magnets, stickers, compostable bags and kitchen bins), have all been claimed at this time.
- 2/10/2022: All the carts are currently be serviced (emptied) twice per week. On Wednesdays and Saturdays in the wee early morning hours. We will start testing other options soon.
- 2/8/2022: It appears someone forced a cart open at Ackerman this week and in doing so, broke the lock, damaged the chain and busted off the metal o-ring holding the chain onto the cart! We have now fixed this issue and have replaced the broken lock with a different kind so we can test another option for ease of use. If you have opinions on which lock you prefer at Ackerman, please share them. Thank you for your input!
- 2/3/2022: Cardboard boxes are NOT allowed in food scrap carts, boxes should be recycled.
- 2/1/2022: Ackerman participants, if you live near Medway Park too, please consider dropping at Medway Park instead, those carts will have more space. We have over 600 people signed up and half of participants are hoping to use Ackerman so those carts are filling up faster. Thank you!
- 2/1/2022: As of 2pm today, there were no more caddies left, but still plenty of magnets and stickers.
Free swag still available, open to anyone, first come, first served! 25 kitchen compost caddies remained as of 5pm today, about 100 magnets (for your fridge), 25 stickers (for your own caddy), flyers (for a bulletin board), and samples of BPI certified compostable bags are still available and now open to anyone on a first come, first served basis, no holds. SWAG ITEMS HAVE ALL BEEN CLAIMED.
- 1/31/2022: Locks were added to carts at Ackerman and Corrine Jones today and will be added to Medway soon. To get the code, please sign up for the program which will take you through a short training. We have seen some contamination from folks likely walking by, like dog poop and donut boxes. Hopefully the locks will help us resolve these challenges.
- 1/26/2022: Free swag to help residents get started composting are being given away currently to the first 200 participants, who have been notified via email and those who attended the workshop. There will likely be extra freebies and we will post availability on this page soon for other registered participants to pick up! We have compost caddies and sample compostable bin liners. We also have magnets for your fridge and stickers to add to your own caddy if you don't get one of the free 200. Stay tuned for an update on 2/1/22.
- 1/26/2022: Nearly 200 people joined the free compost training workshop on 1/25/22 to learn more about the program and tips for getting started!
Learn How to Compost Workshop: The video recording and Presentation Slides from the workshop are available!
- 1/23/2022: New lids with locks are delayed in transit, so the program will start with no locks and be updated soon.
- 1/21/2022: While Saturday's workshop was cancelled due to weather, a new compost workshop is being scheduled. It will cover home composting methods and include a giveaway of backyard compost bins. More details and registration will be open soon.