Frequently Asked Questions
What neighborhoods do you serve? We are just about everywhere except Thane. There is a Thane waitlist, so if we can get a few more people, we’ll make the trek out there! We go out The Road as far as Cohen Drive.

What can go in my bucket?
Our YES list:
​Raw, Cooked, or Moldy: vegetables, fruit (including citrus) dairy, breads and grains, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, paper towels and napkins, plain paper and corrugated cardboard, shredded paper, dust pan sweepings, human and pet hair, compostable plates, cups, utencils, and bags, and pesticide-free yard debris. 

Our NO list:
Meat, bones, fish, crab shells, fruit and vegetable stickers, vegetable twist ties and rubber bands, latex gloves, to-go "paper" cups, colored paperboard, ashes, plastic, metal, glass, and anything toxic.

Will it stink? Probably less than your garbage does! The lid does a great job keeping smells in the bucket, and even then it’s not usually a problem. If you toss lots of failed ferments, then you might have a problem!                
Do I need to line my bucket?   YES! But you have options. A paper bag is the all-around best. Bioplastic compostable bags keep things super clean. Sheets of newspaper work above 32 degrees, but crumbs escape. If you don’t line your bucket it will likely be gross and stuff will stick (or freeze) to it. You will definitely need to wash it out each week.  

Where do I keep my bucket?  You might keep the bucket right in your kitchen, or you could have a small one under the sink or a counter top container that you dump as needed into the main compost bucket used for pick-ups. Store your bucket inside except on collection day to prevent negative wildlife encounters.

When and where is collection?  Set your bucket out at the curb by 8am on your collection day. For all of Douglas Island, that’s Tuesday. Everywhere else is Friday. Place it by the curb or in a visible, accessible spot!

What if I have bears in my neighborhood? If you keep your bucket clean and secure, your are unlikely to have a problem. We have buckets in just about every part of town and have not had issues. Keep your bucket inside except on collection day, and give it a regular rinse with soap. Never add meat or fish, and always secure the lid. You are the best judge of your own yard. If a garbage bear is taking over your yard it’s best to resolve that before you set out a bucket of compost! If you feel like your bucket needs to be secured in a shed or other enclosure let us know and we are happy to accomodate.

How much does it cost? Subscription service is $25 ($26.25 including tax) on a monthly basis and amounts to $6.56 a bucket. If that doesn’t fit your budget, you can reduce your bill by sourcing friends, neighbors, or coworkers to form a hub. The rate for hub members is $12.50 a month.  

What is a hub? A hub is a central drop off spot for several members.  Each member brings their own bucket to the hub site for collection and gets their own invoice. We do not do the networking to create/build hubs, so if you want one, start knocking on some doors!

How do I pay? We will email an invoice to you at the end of each month with a link to pay with Paypal. If you don’t see one check your spam folder. If you’d prefer to create your own recurring payment from your bank account instead of using Paypal, you can have a check sent to:   Juneau Composts! LLC, 9223 N Douglas Hwy, Juneau, AK 99801.
Do you have a holiday or snow schedule?  If we have any schedule changes we send out a quick email and post a notice on our Facebook page. Snow is generally not a problem, but storms can make collection unsafe and/or nearly impossible, so we delay collections if needed.

What if I forget to put my bucket out? Don’t despair. You are welcome to save your forgotten bucket and put two out the following week at no extra charge. If you can’t wait, we can do an extra collection for $7.

What if my bucket got missed? Our complex route is mapped out on a data sheet that requires check-off to proceed, so if we miss you there’s likely a broken down dump truck blockading your neighborhood.  But, we are human, so if we miss you, send us an email or text and we’ll make it right.

What if I’m going out of town?  If you won’t be setting out your bucket for several weeks at a time, please let us know and we are happy to put your service on hold. If you are at the solo rate we will prorate your invoice. If you are part of a hub, sorry, but your rate is low already, so partial month invoices are not possible. 

Why was stuff left in my bucket? Separating at the source is the only way this program can work. We do not want trash in the finished compost.  If we notice contamination in your bucket and can easily pull it out, we’ll leave it behind for you so you know it’s a no-no! If there is food left behind it’s because it is stuck to your bucket and you aren’t using a liner. (Tisk, tisk!)
Do I get finished compost back? Members have first dibs on shares of finished compost, and you’ll get an email with specifics when finished compost time comes. The cost is $10 for a 5-gallon bag, which weighs about 25 pounds. Please understand that we are a new and small company and that it takes time to create a quality product.

If I am not a member can I still purchase compost? YES! But our members have first dibs whenever a batch is ready. Let us know if you’d like to be added to the waitlist.

How can I contact you? By using the contact form on this website, emailing [email protected], or calling or texting 419-5763. Facebook messenger works if we’re in the “office,” but not if we’re en route.

Do you ever need volunteers? While we don’t need them on a regular basis for day-to-day operations, we’d love to have people to help on big project days! If sifting, bagging, raking leaves, or helping with events is your thing, let us know!

Are you hiring? If you are an amazing, reliable person who loves manual labor coupled with science, magic, and environmental stewardship, then possibly! Drop us a line!
Is Juneau Composts a non-profit? The short answer is "No." The more complicated answer is that we invest ALL revenues into expanding the compost movement in Juneau through outreach, education, and service.

Is plastic compostable? Most plastics are not. If a product says, “Compostable in Industrial Facilities,”  “Meets ASTM D6400 Standards,” or "Certified BPI Compostable," we accept it. If it says “biodegradeable,” it’s a marketing ploy and not compostable. Plastics #1-7 are not compostable unless explicitly marked.

Is paper compostable? Paper is made from trees, so generally, yes. BUT, colored coatings on some papers make it undesirable. We accept plain, uncoated paper; shredded paper; and plain corrugated cardboard with tape and staples removed.  We don’t accept colored paperboard (think cereal boxes) or receipts. Milk cartons and paper cups are lined with plastic, so we do no accept them! Tetra paks have plastic and aluminium in them, so those are a no-go as well.  

Do you accept wood? We accept small pieces like toothpicks, popsicle sticks, shavings, and sawdust. We don’t accept brush at this time.

Do you accept yard debris?  If you have ORGANIC leaves or yard debris (as in you use no chemicals such as Roundup, Turf Builder, or Weed & Feed) you can leave it in a bag alongside your bucket. (IGA sells awesome giant paper bags for cheap!)

Can you compost soil? If you have potted plants to get rid of, sure. If you have a bunch of soil, a better use would be to put it directly in a garden.

Don't see your answer? Send us your question here!