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Residential Food Scraps Recycling Program

 The City of Buffalo and Farmer Pirates Compost have teamed up to bring organics recycling to 2000 residents in Buffalo as part of it's new FREE Scrap It! Curbside Pilot Program. Enrollment will be open to ALL districts within the city.

To be eligible for this pilot program you must:

  • Be a resident of the City of Buffalo

  • Live in a Residential home with 3 or fewer units

  • Commercial Apartment buildings are not eligible at this time- Check out our Neighborhood Drop Off Locations or Buffalo's Scrap It! Drop Off Program for other composting options)


  • Areas with a Wednesday and Friday Sanitation day have reached max. enrollment!

*We encourage interested residents in these areas to continue to sign up to be added to the waiting list. We will enroll off the waiting list if/when spaces become available.*

Composting benefits everyone by:

  • Reducing landfill waste

  • Reducing pollution and harmful greenhouse gas emissions

  • Creating a cleaner, healthier community

  • Improving soil and plant health

How it Works:

Signups will be reviewed on a Monthly basis. Once we confirm your eligibility we will contact you to schedule your brown tote delivery and services will begin shortly thereafter.

Why Compost?

Did you know that most of what you throw away is not in fact garbage, but a highly reusable resource? Composting keeps those organic materials in production, out of landfills and instead uses them to revitalize and fertilize soil to grow healthy plants, all while creating a cleaner, healthier community!

How do I participate?

Curbside Composting is easy!

  • Simply collect your food scraps in an easy to clean container with a tight fitting lid such as a tupperware, metal bowl, bucket, etc.

  • Empty your scraps into your brown tote. BE SURE TO SNAP THE LID CLOSED EACH TIME.

  • On trash pickup day, simply wheel your brown tote to the curb alongside your garbage and recycling.

  • Farmer Pirates Compost will empty it and leave a new compostable liner.

What can I compost?

Wondering what items we accept? You can find our basic list HERE.

  • So many things can be composted with Farmer Pirates like the obvious fruit and vegetable scraps, but also grains, bread, dairy, eggshells, coffee grounds and more. The big No-No's are meat, bones and large quantities of oils. 

  • Although we can take small amounts of plant trimmings, yard waste drop off is already free for residents by taking it to 383 Babcock Street Monday-Friday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM

  • Please note we do not accept Grass, Sod, Dirt, or Branches/Sticks

Where it goes

The Farmer Pirates operate a compost site in Buffalo’s Broadway Fillmore Neighborhood. We manage and maintain the compost piles by mixing your food waste with different local carbon sources to create rich “finished” compost to be used on local urban farms and gardens.

Eligibility and Rules

Participation Terms 

By enrolling in this program, I agree to the following conditions of this agreement. I understand that my collection tote will be dropped off by the City of Buffalo and my first collection will begin shortly thereafter.

Responsibility of the City of Buffalo/ Farmer Pirates Compost


  1. Provide the member with a 12 gallon brown tote with compostable liner for the collection of compost resources, as well as the information needed to safely and cleanly collect these resources.  Tote is the property of the City of Buffalo.

  2. On collection day Farmer Pirates Compost will empty the food scraps from the tote and leave a new liner.

  3. The pick-up shall be scheduled on a set route every week to coincide with trash/recycling schedule.     


Responsibility of the Resident Participating in the Program

  1. Resident shall put ONLY the appropriate compost materials into their collection tote as defined by the information provided by the City of Buffalo.

  2. Residents will put the tote out for collection weekly at the curb on the collection day.  If a resident does not need a pickup for any reason, resident will use their Customer Portal to "SKIP" service BEFORE the day of collection.

  3. If a food scrap collection tote is not emptied, resident should file a "Missed Pickup Report" in their Customer Portal.

  4. Failure to comply may cause the removal of the tote and ability to participate in the program.  

Scrap It! Curbside FAQs

What is composting anyway?

Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps, into a valuable fertilizer that can enrich soil and plants.

Why should I participate?

This pilot program will allow you to compost with minimal work or upkeep. The EPA estimates 24% of all municipal solid waste is compostable. Participation in this pilot makes it simple to keep your food scraps out of the landfill and compost them instead.

How long is this pilot?

This pilot program is currently funded through December 2024. It is hopeful that the City will continue to access grant funding to continue, if not expand the program!

How often do you pickup?

This is a weekly service! If you do not think you have enough in your bin one week for a pickup, simply SKIP your pickup using your Customer Portal.

What if my brown tote isn't full?

If your brown bin doesn't have enough to put out, simply use your Customer Portal to SKIP that week's pickup. Even easier, sign up for text reminders and simply reply SKIP if you don't need the next day's pickup.

How should I collect my scraps at home?

Simply choose a container to collect in and get going! While prepping meals, toss unused fruit and veggies parts in your collection container. Got leftovers that have gone bad? As long as they don't contain meat, toss them in. Fruits, veggies, breads or dairy gone bad, add them too!.

What container should I use ?

You can use whatever container you have on hand with a lid, or even purchase a specialized countertop collector. If you would like, you can line this container with a BPI or TUV certified compostable liner or a paper bag.

Can I use compostable bags in my collection container?

Yes! As long as they are BPI or TUV Certified Compostable. Some good choices are Biobag, EcoSafe, and Cleanomics. Unsure, check the Betterbin app or just ask us!

What can I include in my tote? Are there any no-no’s?

You can get all the details at Betterbin. There are the obvious no no's like plastic, glass and metal. Please no meat or bones. Some other not so clear items are corks, gum, kitty litter or dog poop, we can't take it. Rabbit and hamster waste/bedding are fine! If you’re unsure, just ask.

What about fruit flies?

As long as your collection container/s have a tight fitting lid, fruit flies should not become a problem. In the warmer months you may want to freeze your fruit or tomato scraps before putting them into your collection container.

What if my tote starts to smell?

There are a few things we recommend. First try adding a bit of shredded newspaper (b&w only please). You could also try sprinkling on a bit of baking soda to absorb the smell. Finally, if you are going to put something in there that you are quite certain will smell put it in the freezer until closer to your pick-up day!

Will this pilot attract rodents?

Remember: you are not adding anything new to your waste stream, simply separating it! In fact, since your brown bin has a latch to keep it closed, it is more rodent proof than your blue tote.

Do you accept yard waste?

Due to our truck's limited capacity we can only take what fits into your tote. Yard waste should be brought to 500 Mineral Springs - Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Each Spring & Fall Season we may offer Special Yard Waste Pickups which can be ordered through your Customer Portal Shop.

I'm moving to another Buffalo Address!?

 No problem! We just ask two things. 1st: put in a Address change request through your Customer Portal. We will reach out to confirm the change and notify you of any changes to pickup day. 2nd: Take your brown tote with you to your new address and continue composting as normal!

I'm moving out of what?

 First, put in a cancellation request through your Customer Portal. We will reach out to confirm with any follow up instructions. Want to continue composting? We offer our composting services in many towns and suburbs around the Buffalo area.  Check out the rest of our website to see the services we offer!

How can I cancel?

Simply head to your Customer Portal and choose Account & Billing- Request to Cancel. Leave your tote on the front porch or side of house and a city worker will come by to collect it shortly.

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