Residents in the Charleston region can take their food scraps to designated drop sites for FREE thanks to a partnership between the City of Charleston, Charleston County, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Mount Pleasant and Sullivan's Island!
Sign-up is required. You will learn what items are accepted for composting and get instructions to access the carts.
Organic material decomposes in landfills without oxygen and releases harmful methane, a potent gas more than 20 times effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Landfills make up 17% of the United States' methane emissions. Whereas a compost pile decomposes aerobically – with oxygen – producing mainly carbon dioxide. By composting we can substantially reduce harmful emissions and help mitigate climate change.
In early 2022, the City of Charleston embarked on a pilot program to test logistics of a potential new compost program whereby residents could drop off food scraps at designated locations. The pilot was grant funded to test the logistics at three initial drop sites, with the hope of a permanent program becoming reality and the number of drop sites expanding in the future.
Expansion and Regional Partners
After a successful pilot, the program is seeking opportunities to expand to new drop sites and reach residents all over the Charleston region!
Charleston County and Folly Beach joined the effort in late 2022, Isle of Palms in March 2023, Mount Pleasant in May 2023, and Sullivan's Island in October 2023. Each community is now offering composting to their residents by hosting drop sites in the program. Each drop site host will maintain and pay for hauling at their respective sites, while the overall program is managed by the City of Charleston.
The City invites Charleston regional government partners to offer composting to their residents by hosting their own drop sites and joining the effort! Ask us how!
The pilot project was made possible by a generous grant donation from SCDHEC to pilot our first composting program.
Special thanks to Smart Recycling, our contracted hauler, who is being flexible and helping us test options.
Share Our Program
You can help by sharing information about the program with your friends and family. Below are a few social media ads you may share and feel free to share our webpage!
the natural process of recycling organic matter, such as food scraps, into a valuable soil amendment.
The resulting decomposed matter, which looks like dark fertile garden soil, is called compost. This material is rich in nutrients and can be used as a natural fertilizer.
Cuts down on trash and expenses. The Charleston region throws away over 30,000 tons of food scraps each year, and food scraps make up 1/4 of the collected garbage. Composting saves space and taxpayer money needed for disposal in landfills.
Combats climate change. Food waste recycling will help meet area Climate Action Plan goals, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and protecting our air and water from pollution to fight climate change.
Protects against flooding. Compost nourishes our soil for healthier parks and gardens and increases stormwater absorption capacity to help reduce flooding.
Saves plants and animals. Compost reduces the need for expensive and polluting chemical fertilizers, makes plants healthier, and can be implemented without harming wildlife or ecosystem health.
WHERE TO BUY COMPOST
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.