Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if I forget to leave my bucket outside?

A: If we get to your house and don’t see your bucket, we’ll leave you a spare and plan to pick them both up on your next pickup day. Just snap the lid on the old one and don’t worry if it gets gross in the meantime.

Q: Will I get compost in return?

A: Yes! We’re very proud to be able to “close the loop” by bringing back some of the very same compost you’ve helped create. Members of our residential pickup service* will receive a share of about 1 cubic foot of finished compost twice per year, spring and fall. If you don’t want your share, we’ll donate it to a local community garden, farm, or non-profit. Your compost share will be delivered in a used chicken feed or grain bag, which we encourage you to return to us for continued re-use.

* Drop-off members, unfortunately, do not receive a compost share. Our drop-off program was designed for affordability and operates on a razor-thin margin, so the math just doesn’t work to provide finished compost. We do occasionally do promotional giveaways of finished compost, and we always invite our drop-off members to attends those events. We’ll also eventually start offering bagged compost for sale but, until then, we encourage all of our customers to purchase any compost they need from our partners at Soilutions.

Q: What day is my pickup?

A: Within a few days of the arrival of your first bucket you’ll get an email letting you know which day your buckets will be exchanged. You’ll also get an email reminder the day before each pickup.

Q: What time will my bucket be picked up?

A: We do our best to do all our pickups between 9am and 3pm, but sometimes we’re out into the early evening. We can’t give any more scheduling details than that, because the routes are constantly changing due to growing membership, variable truck capacities, and staff availability. We do try to prioritize finishing the foothills in the morning, due to wildlife concerns.

Q: When are you coming to my neighborhood?

A: We’re already serving nearly 100% of Albuquerque and Los Ranchos, with only Mesa del Sol excluded. We offer biweekly service to all of Corrales and most of Rio Rancho, and weekly service on a case-by-case basis. We’ve had difficulty making inroads into the South Valley and don’t have a timeline for going there — pre-register to help us get closer, and if you’re close enough to Central Ave we might be able to add you to an existing route.

Q: What happens to my Little Green Bucket each week?

A: After we collect your full bucket (swapping it for a squeaky clean one, of course), we pre-screen your food scraps for contamination then dump it into a large roll cart along with our other members’ scraps. Once a week the roll carts are hauled to Soilutions, where their team screens it again before mixing it into their enormous compost piles and converting it into wonderful, nutrient-rich soil amendments.

Your bucket is washed by hand with compost-friendly cleaning products and returned to circulation.

Q: Will it stink?

A: It depends. An unrefrigerated bucket of food will definitely start to smell eventually, especially during a hot New Mexico summer, but our welcome packet will give you tips to help keep the smells under control. And while your bucket might smell from time to time, your regular trash can will smell much better without the food waste.

Q: What if my bucket breaks or goes missing?

A: If you lose or break your bucket, we’ll add a $10 replacement fee to your next invoice. We’ll waive this fee if your bucket was stolen or broke due to ordinary wear and tear. Please collect your scraps in your own container, such as a 5-gallon bucket, until we bring you a new bucket on your next collection day. Please email or text us so we know to look for your alternate container.

Q: Why does it cost so much?

A: We get it. Our service isn’t as cheap as many people wish. In time, we hope we can offer more affordable options, but this is the price we needed to set at the outset to get our business off the ground. Read more about why our prices are what they are, as well as current and future options to help lower your costs, on our Affordability page.

Q: Can’t I just compost at home?

A: Absolutely! Home composting can be a lot of fun, improves the soil in your own garden, and is a great way to learn about the soil food web. But it isn’t right for every home, it requires both knowledge and time, and it can be a bit tricky here in our high desert climate. If you want to learn more about composting at home, the Bernalillo County Master Composters provide wonderful training and resources. But if you just want to keep your food scraps out of the landfill, and need someone else to do the dirty work, that’s exactly what we’re here for.

Q: Can my office sign up?

A: Yes! We have several commercial service options, and can also put together a custom quote tailored to your needs. Our boutique-scale service is best suited to businesses generating less than 30 gallons of compostable waste per week. If you generate more than that, you may be better served by Soilutions‘, whose pickup service caters to larger businesses. Caught in the middle? Shoot us an email and we’ll talk through the options.