Why should I compost?

The average American person throws away 30 pounds of garbage a week. Of that, at least 20% is organic waste that could be composted.

What’s more, when the organic materials find their way into a landfill and attempt to break down naturally, they cannot.  Instead they release methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas approximately 20 times more powerful that carbon dioxide.

By composting and re-directing, that organic material is breaking down naturally and can be applied back onto land, helping enhance soil quality, prevent erosion and increase water retention.

What can I put in the bucket?

You Can Compost:


Coffee Grounds/Filters

Cooked/Fried Food


Egg Shells

Freezer-burned Foods

Fruits & Vegetables: peels/pits/seeds Grains: Pasta/bread/rice Seeds/Nuts/Nut shells

Processed Food

Powdered Milk


Rotten/Moldy Food


Compost ONLY IF it fits in your bin

BPI-Certified Compostable Ware

Hair Clippings- Human or Animal

Nail Clippings

Pencil Shavings


Wool/Dryer Lint

Fireplace Ashes

Garden/Yard Trimmings

Houseplant Trimmings



We do not accept:







Inorganic Materials

Plastic, Acrylic, Polyester, Rubber

Rubber Bands

Twist Ties

Animal or Human Waste Chemicals/Toxics

Cigarette Butts

Coal – Treated


Diseased Plants


Kitty Litter

Medicine/Medical Waste

Treated Woods

Used Tissues (due to COVID)


These Items May Be Compostable:



If loose → compost

Natural bag w/ NO staple  compost

Natural bag w/ staple → remove staple & compost

Unnatural bag → trash


Cardboard/Paper/Paper Products

If waxy → recycle or trash

If non waxy and greasy/covered in food → compost

If Clean → recycle


If natural → compost

If synthetic/wax coated→ trash

*We are not collecting up large amounts of yard waste, but will take seasonal items (pumpkins, cornstalks, pine boughs) as needed.

For a print out PDF of this list click here

Where exactly do you operate?

Today, we provide pick-up service to the following towns: Bala Cynwyd, Wynnewood, Penn Wynne, Narberth, Ardmore, Havertown, Haverford, Villanova, Gladwyne, St. David’s, Wayne, Devon, and Newtown Square.


Not seeing your town listed? Join our waiting list. We are adding new towns every day as demand increases.

Okay, I signed-up. What's next?

A bucket will be delivered to the address you provided within 2 business days, and you will be given a collection day.

Pick-ups are currently scheduled for every other week, and you can find always see your service dates in the calendar on your customer portal.

You will receive a reminder via e-mail & SMS the day before each pick up. Place your bucket out by the curb by 9pm the night before your collection, our drivers will service your bucket before 5pm on the day of your collection.

We leave you a clean bucket and the cycle repeats!

Can I sign-up if I live in an apartment building/complex?

If you live within our service area- yes!

Once you sign-up, a team member will reach out to you to discuss where is best to leave the bucket. We know that there can be rules as to where you can/cannot leave your bucket, so any location details you can give us is appreciated as we work together to find a location that is convenient for you and our drivers.

Where does it go?

Mother Compost has partnered with the folks over at Kitchen Harvest & Linvilla Orchards. All compostables will be taken to their on-farm composting operation where they monitor, turn and test the materials as they undergo the natural process of becoming compost.

Wait, do I put this bucket in my kitchen?

Most people put their bucket with their other trash bins and leave a countertop compost bin either on their counter or under their sink. Every day or so, just empty that into your bucket.

How often will you come?

As of today, we offer pick up’s on an every other week basis.

I filled my bucket and I’m still a week out. What do I do?

If you have a special week, like you hosted a major holiday, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate. We can provide a special pick-up for an additional fee, or drop you an extra container that we will take back at your next pick-up.

If you are consistently composting more every week, good for you! We offer additional buckets as needed, up to a max of 5 per household.

Will I get compost back?

Each subscriber is entitled to up to 60 pounds of compost each spring during our compost givebacks, which typically runs through March and early April.

I really want to try this but I’m not sure it will work for my life/family/dog/cat.

You can test out our services with our free month trail! During the trial you will not be charged, and will experience two collections to see if our service is right for you.

Additionally, you can  sign up for a monthly subscription and cancel at any time.

Are you doing any commercial businesses?

Today we are focusing on our residential customers. If you are a business and are interested in composting, contact us at info@mothercompost.com and we will see if we can help.

Why did you partner with Philabundance?

We feel strongly that their mission complements our own. When we are re-directing materials from the landfill, many times it is in the form of excess food. We want to send that back to the hungry in Philly so they can benefit in a small way from food heading to the compost pile.

Why do you charge $5 per bucket?

We made the decision to add the per container charge so we could continue to operate our service without changing our subscription costs. We ask our members to share this cost with us. Our team will continue to proactively ensure containers are clean and secure for our subscribers.
This is a one time non-refundable fee. When adding buckets to your subscription this fee will apply.


Composting in Bala Cynwyd, Wynnewood, Penn Wynne, Narberth, Ardmore,
Havertown, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Villanova, St. David’s, Wayne and Devon.

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