Food Scrap Collection and Composting Program

In the summer of 2012, we partnered with EcoRI to collect compostable food scraps at the Aquidneck Growers Markets.  Our current collection schedule at the Winter Market inside Newport Vineyards’s new building at 20 Meadow Ln, off East Main Rd in Portsmouth is on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. See our collection guidelines below.

Since ecoRI Public Works began collecting food scraps, the program has become wildly popular, and the program has diverted more than 40,000 pounds of material from the state landfill.

For more information or to become a Sustainable Aquidneck volunteer, contact Jason Spitalnik at .


Compostable Drop-off Guidelines

Below are a few guidelines to keep in mind if you want to bring your food scraps to the market:


  • Any fruit and vegetable scraps, with the exception of large amounts of citrus peels. Citrus peels take a long time to break down in a compost pile.
  • Coffee grounds and filters. Just dump your grounds and paper filters into a bag or plastic bin and bring them on down. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which is great for compost, and the filters are mostly carbon.
  • Eggshells. Although there is a small amount of residual protein on the inside of the shell, it’s not enough to foster anaerobic bacteria growth.  Eggshells are rich in calcium, which is an essential soil nutrient.


  • Please, no animal proteins. This includes raw or cooked meats, fish and cheeses. The proteins in meats and cheeses attract insects and wildlife, and they also give rise to anaerobic bacteria, which create methane and a horrible smell.
  • No yard waste. We will not accept leaves, grass clippings, weeds or diseased plants. Although “brown” material is necessary for good compost, we don’t have the space at the market to take in the thousands of tons of leaves that annually evacuate Rhode Island’s trees. Please take advantage of your town’s curbside collection programs for these items. Weeds and diseased plants shouldn’t be put in compost.
  • No poop. No kitty litter or dog mess. While manure can be beneficial to compost, we prefer to add it from controlled sources at the farm.
  • No grains/bread. Grains and grain products tend to ferment or mold in compost.  Small amounts are okay, as long as they are mixed in with everything else.


  • Freezing your compostables prevents any odor from building up during the week.
  • Using a reusable container or compostable bag prevents any extra waste going to the landfill – and simplifies your drop-off experience. If you use a countertop compost crock, you can just bring it to the market and empty it directly into our container.

How to find the markets