How Much Does Compost Cost and Its Value for Your Garden

How Much Does Compost Cost?

Welcome to our blog post where we dive into the world of compost and explore its cost implications. Composting is a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to recycle organic waste into nutrient-rich soil conditioner. Whether you’re an avid gardener looking to enhance your plants’ growth or someone interested in reducing their carbon footprint, understanding the cost of compost is essential before venturing into this eco-friendly practice.

The Factors Influencing Compost Costs

Several factors come into play when determining the price you can expect to pay for compost. By understanding these factors, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about which option suits your needs best:

1. Type of Composting Method

There are various methods used for composting, each with its own associated costs. Traditional backyard composting, vermicomposting (using worms), and hot-composting systems are some common examples. The costs vary depending on the equipment required, time invested, and resources used throughout the process.

2. Source Materials

The composition of source materials impacts both the quality and cost of the resulting compost. Organic waste such as food scraps from households or yard trimmings from landscaping services contribute differently to overall pricing due to variations in accessibility, collection processes involved, and transportation expenses.

Understanding Pricing Structures

Pricing structures differ depending on your location as well as local market conditions that influence supply and demand dynamics:

Retail Purchases

If you prefer purchasing ready-made bags or bulk quantities of compost from garden centers or nurseries, keep in mind that prices may include markups covering production costs like labor, packaging materials, transportation fees from manufacturers’ facilities or third-party suppliers.

Subscription Services

Some areas offer subscription-based compost pickup services. These services provide you with a compost bin, either for purchase or rental, and regularly collect your organic waste to be processed into compost. The costs are usually structured as monthly or annual fees that cover both the initial setup and ongoing maintenance.

DIY Composting

If you have the time, space, and inclination, setting up your own composting system can be an affordable option. While there may be some upfront expenses involved in purchasing bins or equipment like tumblers or aerators, long-term savings can be significant if managed correctly.

Average Cost Ranges

The cost of compost varies significantly depending on the aforementioned factors:

Retail Purchases:

  • Bags of ready-made compost typically range from $5 to $20 per bag (depending on size and quality).
  • Purchasing bulk quantities may cost around $30 to $100 per cubic yard.

Subscription Services:

  • An average monthly fee for subscription-based pickups ranges between $20 to $40 (including bin rental).
  • An annual fee could fall within the range of $150 to $400.

Saving Money on Compost Expenses

If budget is a concern but you still want access to high-quality nutrient-rich soil conditioner without breaking the bank, consider these tips:

1. DIY Backyard Composting: Setting up your own backyard composting system allows you to recycle kitchen scraps and yard waste efficiently while saving money in the long run.

2. Community Programs: Some municipalities offer discounted or subsidized programs encouraging residents’ participation in eco-friendly practices such as composting. Check with your local government for potential incentives or resources available to reduce costs.

3. Composting cooperatives: Joining or starting a cooperative can help distribute the expenses associated with composting, such as purchasing bulk materials or equipment, among a group of individuals interested in composting within their community.


Compost costs vary depending on factors like the type of composting method used and source materials involved. Retail purchases from garden centers or nurseries may range from $5 to $20 per bag, while bulk purchases could cost between $30 to $100 per cubic yard. Subscription services usually come at monthly fees ranging from $20 to $40 (including bin rental) or annual fees averaging between $150 and $400.

To save money on compost expenses, consider DIY backyard composting, exploring community programs that offer incentives, or joining/starting a cooperative to distribute costs among participants.

Now armed with this knowledge about how much compost costs and ways to minimize expenses, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budgetary constraints while contributing positively towards sustainable waste management practices.