What would you say is a good price for bulk compost? (NYC)

ElPsyCongrooMarch 23, 2014

Making compost is pretty hopeless for me. Tried it last year but as a student, I dont have my own car so it usually involves lots of heavy lifting. That means dragging vegetable trimming filled garbage bags all the way home. I dont generate enough scraps at home to build a large enough heap so asking around for trimmings is how I did it. Unfortunately all of that hard work was ruined when my unfinished compost was spread onto the garden. My parents dont understand that decomposition is much faster in large piles and continuously spread it everywhere no matter how many times I tell them. Even today, a lot of it hasn't decomposed. Buying compost is my best option but its expensive bagged and carrying all that home will take ages.

So im looking for place that will deliver bulk compost. How much would this typically cost? Anyone aware of places that will deliver here in NYC (Im in the Bronx)? Unfortunately the NYC compost giveback program no longer receives funding so the city has no compost for me. :( The worms seem to have fled and now I fear for my garden as its not a good sign when the worms dont like the soil.

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The cost of compost is pretty much transportation and labor. What does it cost to move the rough material from where it is generated to where it is processed, process that material, and then deliver it to you. Around here compost is selling for $20.00 per cubic yard plus a delivery charge to help cover the higher fuel costs.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 6:30AM
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Sorry, I can't provide any info about NYC, although I lived upstate for a while many years ago.

In the midwest where I am, the largest composting facility charges around $22-30 per yard of various compost variations. Delivery is $50 per load. The web site gave specs on the basic compost and it had a pH of 8.1 which I found a bit high. Loading the spec sheet took 8 minutes which was weird.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 10:58AM
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It sounds like you want to use compost to add to a garden section at your parents' home (or your home, to which you return now and then from college). I'll make some additional assumptions in my post.

You can try worm composting (aka vermicomposting) at your school/dorm/apartment. It doesn't need to take up too much space and the amount of scraps you need per week would be much less than it is for a 3x3 pile of compost (though admittedly, you can add a small amount to a compost pile at a time, it doesn't need to be large amounts)

Take the results of the worm composting back with you to your home.

The other thing I can think of is that if you're not home to monitor your garden area, then probably you can reduce the amount of space you are gardening in, and in that case, store-bought compost bags might be a sufficient supply for the time-being.

Another idea is that if you aren't getting large amounts of scraps at a time, then using trench composting, you can still amend your soil by using the small amount of scraps you do get. This is ideal for a situation where you may be home on the weekends, and want to use those scraps right away, but for the rest of the week, you are at school (where you do vermicomposting)

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 11:28AM
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Chris_MI(z5 MI)

The price in Ann Arbor Mi is the same. about $20 if you pick up a yard (measured from their 1 yard scoop) add delivery of $50 - from their 5 yard truck-so might as well get 5 yard equals $150.
the same price for wood chips.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2014 at 5:53PM
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