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Free Compost!

Our site at Auer and Gordon in Riverwest, lovingly renovated a few years ago, now cycles toward the public entrance to the nature preserve and offers a self-serve model of compost screening. Compost is there for the taking, and the public is welcome to visit our site to learn about how to produce first-rate local compost with rudimentary tools and materials.

Finished compost 2

Our system is very simple, and with any luck, the signage removes any lingering ambiguity. After the material cycles through seven turns in the Main 7-Bin square pallet enclosures, it sits in the Resting Pile. This pile is now divided into three sections: Not Ready, Ready to Screen, and Finished Compost. The screened product is fluffy, light, and makes an excellent top dressing for established beds or can be blended with garden soil for laying out new beds.

Please see this longer tutorial for more specifics on how to screen by yourself, or with a friend! Gardeners are invited to screen compost using our simple method of gently agitating the screenable material over a frame lined with hardware cloth. You can remove the woody bits, produce stickers, and any trash that has made its way into the compost, and off you go. The overs – the screened out chunks and undecomposed bits – can be tossed back into the Main Bin system where it says “Add Here” (same place you add food scraps). We also have gardeners who love having those wood chips and avocado pits in their garden for longer term decomposition. So … you don’t have to screen if you don’t want to!

We mean it when we say:

  • Please help yourself to AS MUCH COMPOST as you want to screen! That helps us keep compost moving through the system, and there’s a lot to move from winter collection.

**UPDATE 3/27/2019 – we’re going to start posting on Instagram and FB to take free compost. It’ll go quick.

There will be regular turns of compost through the system throughout the summer. You are always welcome to help yourself to the “Ready to Screen” pile – get it while it’s hot.

If you would like to arrange a small group, hands-on lesson to screen and learn more about this self-drop system, please contact Renee at: compost@kompostkids.com.


  1. Hello

    I would like to know if any compost is free and ready to screen. Groundwork MKE (Daisy) sent me your way , also if you know anyone who has herbs, please let me know.

    • Hi Camille, sorry for the delay! This is the comments section for the blog part of the website, so doesn’t get checked regularly. I’ll send you an email.