Our Values & mission
Started in March 2020, Compost Kauai began with three friends who were really into creating something good for their community.
A 2016 waste characterization study done by the County of Kauai shows that approximately 25% of waste entering the landfill is compostable. This includes paper, food waste and other organics. Compostable materials are an extremely valuable resource for an island with finite resources. We believe they should have an opportunity to be returned back to the soil, not lie waste in a landfill tomb.
Knowing that our only landfill is projected to reach capacity in 2026, our current food-system is heavily reliant on imported goods, and residents express difficulty in composting on their own, we wanted to provide a service to alleviate these issues.
In 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, Compost Kauai came to fruition.
Compost Kauai provides services that make it easier for the community to close the food system loop and support truly local recycling on island. We support everything from individual residents to large scale events.
Our mission is to collect food scraps and other local compostables to divert them from our island’s overwhelmed landfill and transform them into nutrient-rich compost, which can then be used to grow more food.
To achieve our mission,
we recognize food scraps as a resource which previously required other valuable resources in its cultivation and transportation (water, fertilizer, fuel, labor),
we partner with like-minded community members, who don't have enough food scraps for the pig farmers but might have more than they can handle themselves,
we make the effort to close the loop by diverting and converting local organic materials into a soil amendment that can further benefit our community and island.
We understand that a sustainable island food system is not only a community of those who produce, process, distribute, and consume local foods, but also involves recycling and returning valuable nutrients back to the soil. Our community's actions can enhance Kauai’s environmental, economic and social health as well as build community resilience.
HOW IT WORKS
Here's how it works:
1. Sign up to become a member. Choose between our pick-up or drop off service.
2. We give you a bucket for your chosen service. You fill up your bucket with approved compostable materials.
3. Every week we pick up your bucket or you drop it off and you receive a clean one.
4. We turn your compostable materials into nutrient rich compost which you can request, buy or donate to others.
If that doesn't seem easy enough, watch our 60 second video for our East side pick-up service.
our Services & pRODUCTS
As an island with finite resources, composting has an endless list of benefits that can create a sustainable island community. From diverting materials from the landfill to the application of finished compost which improves soil health, supports local food production and maintains a functional ecosystem.
Composting is the FIRST and FINAL step to creating a sustainable closed-loop food system.
We remember to recycle our glass, plastic and aluminum, so why not our food?
"Everyone who lives on Kauai should compost. Compost Kauai makes it easy to do some good for our island environment. It's a forward thinking business model that I hope spreads island-wide. The communication and customer service are great as well. I support their mission and appreciate their hard work."
"We always wanted to compost and Compost Kauai offering weekly curbside pickup made it an easy decision. We have an odor-proof small bucket we keep next to our sink and transfer it to the larger Compost Kauai bucket we keep outside. Composting has changed the way we eat and shop for food. We now eat healthier, less processed food, and eat more local food from farmers markets. Compost Kauai employees have always been very friendly when picking up buckets, making minimal noise, and the communication has been great. We continue to tell other people about Compost Kauai and hope they can expand their service island wide!"
"I love composting with Compost Kauai. My wife was worried about smell, roaches and rats with a black bin. With the compost Kaua’i system we don’t have to worry about any of those issues. Instead we keep our food waste out of the landfill and get compost for our garden."
can - Put In your bucket
no can - reuse, recycle or trash it
Cooked and raw foods
Fruits and vegetable scraps
Meat, bones, fish, crustaceans*
Coffee grounds and filters
Rice, bread, oatmeal, grains
Dairy products including cheese*
Herbs, spices, dried fruit
Household plants including soil
Tortillas, potato chips, popcorn
Sauces and syrup*
Stale crackers, bread, cereal, pretzels, pasta
Nuts and shells
Tofu and tempeh
Hair (pet or human)
Paper plates, bags, & to-go boxes (no plastic)
Newspaper (remove plastic/shiny inserts)
*Keep under 5% of total.
Aluminum cans or foil
Latex or rubber gloves
Paper plates or coffee cups with wax coating
Fats, grease, oil, candy
Items labeled "biodegradable" (different than "compostable")
Items labeled BPI Certified Compostable (these are for industrial facilities only)
Items labeled ASTM D6400 or D6868
Baby wipes, cloth, and clothing
When in doubt, leave it out!
Contaminated compost is our greatest challenge.