Here’s Where To Get Free Compost Near You


Luckily, there are sources of free compost locally if you know where to look, and this guide will explain all your options such as municipal compost programs and social media websites where you can get smaller batches for your home gardening needs.

With the cost of compost averaging $3 per cubic foot, trying to keep your garden in top condition can get expensive.

A stunning garden starts with soil rich in nutrients, and compost is the ideal way to feed your plants all year long, so stay here to learn more!

City Yard Waste Recycling Programs

Many cities offer compost for free to reduce the amount of material going into landfills.

If your city or one close by, has a program that picks up yard debris and kitchen scraps, they most likely have a composting program.

Some of the compost is to maintain the city or county’s gardens and landscaping, while the rest may be available at no cost to area residents.

Some of the compost is to maintain the city or county’s gardens and landscaping, while the rest may be available at no cost to area residents.

Cities with such programs can create large batches of compost and like to keep the bulk of material from taking over their limited space.

free compost at local landfill

To help reduce piles of waste going into the landfill, the city gives the compost away at no cost to encourage local landscapers and residents to put the material to good use.

One great benefit of getting compost from the city is saving hundreds of dollars if you need large quantities of material.

There are things to consider when getting compost from the city:

One is that it’s rare for the town to deliver compost to your residence, which means you’ll need to drive to the composting center with a truck or containers for your car to hold the material.

You may need to bring a shovel to load the compost, so call ahead to know the procedures and hours of operation before you visit.

screening city compost at home

You also need to watch out for “bonus” ingredients, as municipal compost often has bits of plastic or other unwanted items in the mix.

So, it’s always best to screen the compost to check for and remove non-organic bits before adding it to your garden beds.

California has the RethinkWaste free compost program, and you can find a program nearest to you with an online search for “free compost” along with the name of the nearest large towns.

Social Media or Peer-to-Peer Buy/Sell/Trade Websites

Social media platforms like Facebook, NextDoor, 5Miles, Carousell, OfferUp and many others allow locals to post free compost offers and let users post if they are looking for compost anyone is giving away.

Craigslist is another common place to look for anyone who has free compost they want to get rid of.

The benefit of using online marketplaces to find free compost is that you can tailor your search area.

For example, you may find a compost source just a mile away instead of having to drive 30 miles to reach a city compost program.

The downfall of online free compost searches is the lack of availability. But, if you can make contact and become friends with a home composter, you can ask for a message when a batch is ready so you can be the first to pick some up.

Steps to find free compost online through Craigslist:


  1. Type in Craigslist and your city into a search engine.
  2. Click on the “for sale” tab.
  3. Find the “free” section and click on that tab.
  4. Type “compost” in the search bar.

Anyone offering free compost will come up in the results. However, as compost isn’t always available, keep checking weekly for new postings.


Facebook, NextDoor, 5Miles, Carousell, OfferUp, Freecycle, and other similar sites are easy to search, but you will need to sign up with the platform to access most postings.

Like Craigslist, there may not always be free compost available, so keep checking in or leave your contact information with people who process compost.

  • The benefit of getting free compost from these sources is that it’s easy to search through the postings, which saves time when locating a supply.
  • The downside is that you’ll have to arrange a time to go collect the compost, as most people who are giving it away for free will not also deliver it, but they may do so for a fee.

Friends, Family, and Local Farmers

Surveying your acquaintances and family may lead you to some surprising sources of free compost you didn’t know were available.

For example, maybe Uncle Joey is an avid gardener and has a robust composting system with extra to share, or your neighbor is friends with a local farmer who has compost to spare.

heap of organic compost manure

Speaking of farmers, small-scale operations that include livestock often have compost as a by-product of cleaning out animal stalls of manure and straw.

The benefit of getting compost from a farmer is that the constant rotation of dirty stall material out to the compost pile means an abundance of material you can get for free all year long.

The downside of most free compost from farms is that the material is often very high in nitrogen due to the animal manure ingredient. While nitrogen is a crucial element in healthy plant development, too much can be harmful.

To ensure you can use the compost safely, always check by using a soil test kit first.

In Summary

How to get free compost isn’t that complicated when you know where to look in your area.

Trying to keep your landscaping plants healthy can get expensive, so using free compost is the ideal solution for both your wallet and your home’s curb appeal.

I hope you find the information above useful in finding free compost near you so you can use it to help your plants and vegetable garden grow vibrant and healthy!

Share This Article