Compost collection to start at Farmers Market

Fri, 06/26/2020 - 11:45am

The Block Island Conservancy shared the following update with The Block Island Times:

Free Compost Collection begins on Saturday at the Farmer's Market!


The Farmers Market (the first few markets will be at the Solviken Nature Preserve on Corn Neck Road).


Wednesdays and Saturdays, beginning this Saturday, June 27th, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

This program is sponsored by the Block Island Conservancy and the 1661 Farm & Gardens.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is composting?

Composting is an aerobic (requiring air) method of decomposing solid organic waste, such as food scraps and plant matter. The resulting product, compost, is rich in nutrients and aids plant growth.

2. Why is composting important?

Every year, landfills and trash incinerators in the United States receive 167 million tons of garbage. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 28% of this material could be composted.

In a traditional landfill, compostable waste does not decompose normally because it is not exposed to the air. And, when it finally does break down, the organic material in landfills generates large bubbles of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. But when food scraps and plant material are allowed to decompose naturally and the resulting compost is applied to land, the process actually sequesters carbon, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere.

Composting not only helps to prevent the overfill of landfills and the release of greenhouse gases, but also completes the cycle of nutrient replenishment back to the soil. Soil treated with compost requires fewer chemical fertilizers, pesticides and water. Plants grow stronger thanks to the added nutrients and are more deeply rooted, which prevents soil runoff and erosion.

3. What can and cannot be composted? 

Vegetable and fruit scraps, bread products, coffee ground, eggshells, house or lawn plant trimmings, brown paper, the occasional newspaper (just please just make sure it’s not all bundled together!), and compostable bags labeled for “backyard composting” can all be composted through this program.

We are currently unable to accept large quantities of meat products, really fatty/oily food scraps, bones, dairy products, animal waste/litter, glass, cardboard, tissues/paper towels, and bulk newspaper. 

If you have any questions about whether your item(s) can be composted, bring them down and we'll be happy to point you in the right direction!


The Block Island Conservancy’s Commitment to Sustainability

A priority for the Block Island Conservancy is finding ways to reduce the Block Island community’s environmental impact both here on the island and beyond. Block Island Conservancy has identified on-island waste management as an area with opportunity for improvement.

During the 2019 summer, the Block Island Conservancy partnered with Jamie Johnston of McPick and Seth Draper of the 1661 Farm & Gardens to launch a pilot composting project. We collected about 2,000 pounds of compostable material from 22 households during this first phase. Building on the success of this pilot, we began offering a free compost drop-off site at the Solviken Nature Preserve during the winter. The drop-off program generated another 2,000 pounds of compostable material. The compost we created is currently being used at the 1661 Farm & Gardens and we hope to someday have enough to share with the community.

The Block Island Conservancy’s goal is to demonstrate the feasibility of a larger scale composting program on the island. In the future, the Block Island Conservancy will engage local leadership and stakeholders to develop a plan to move this initiative forward.