Pick-up for compost in Birmingham? Yeah—we have that now + it’s the first in the state

Your scraps could make gardens like this one flourish. Photo via Highland Park Garden’s Facebook

It’s no secret that Alabama isn’t at the top when it comes to recycling and composting, but that’s soon about to change. Field Culture Compost is serving the Birmingham community and our environment by taking our scraps and turning into something meaningful. The best part? You can get involved too. Keep reading to learn more.

First things first—what is composting?

Healthy soil makes for a healthier planet. Photo provided by Field Culture Compost

This article wouldn’t make much sense if you aren’t aware of what composting is, but that’s what I’m here for. The idea is pretty simple yet makes a large impact.

We all have trash and waste. Nearly half of the garbage we sit on the curb is compostable. Composting just takes those thrown out organic materials and turns them back into soil to help plants grow.

This includes food scraps, leaves, branches, coffee grounds, eggshells, cardboard and so much more. You can get a full list of what’s considered compostable here.

Some of the benefits of composting include:

  • Reduction of methane emissions from landfills
  • Helps reduce your carbon footprint
  • Enriches soil without the need for chemical fertilizers
  • May help eliminate unwanted smells in your trash can

Composting in Birmingham just got a lot easier thanks to Field Culture Compost.

Storytime! My roommate and I had a mini compost bin in our kitchen. It was easy, efficient and we felt that we were doing a small part to help with the environment. Fast forward a few months and we had to halt our composting efforts because her childhood home where we took the compost was sold. This may be TMI, but turns out that the compost bin helped a lot with the smells that sometimes come from the trash.

Alex Thompson and Matthew Nesbitt of Field Culture Compost, the concept stage winner at Alabama Launchpad. Photo via Alabama Launchpad

Luckily, Field Culture Compost is here to help with your composting needs. They are Alabama’s first community-scale composting company and were one of the winners at this year’s EDPA Virtual Alabama Launchpad startup competition. Their mission was awarded a generous $50,000 grant and what was once a concept has come to fruition.

Field Culture Compost can turn your scraps and those leftovers that you swore you would eat into environmentally-friendly compost that will be used by farmers, landscapers and neighborhood gardens.

Field Culture compost came from a place of wanting to continue to be involved in small scale organic agriculture in the state of Alabama. Healthy soils and in turn growing healthy food crops are imperative to a healthy community, and this is our way of doing our part.

Matthew Nesbitt, Co-Founder, Field Culture Compost

How you can get involved

Good news for you. If you’re interested in composting, you don’t have to do the dirty work because Field Culture Compost will do it for you. They offer residential and commercial compost pick-up services. So if you’re a household or business looking to become more sustainable, consider this the perfect first step.

Right now, Field Culture Compost is providing services in areas just south of downtown Birmingham like Highlands, UAB, Avondale, Crestwood and nearby neighborhoods.

Residents can reach out to us to let us know what sections of the city they would like for us to expand to next. The stronger the interest the quicker we are able to create a new service area. We also have drop-off locations in the works where community members will be able to take their organic wastes to a central location, to then be picked up by us and composted. It is another way to get as many people involved in waste diversion and composting as possible!

Matthew Nesbitt, Co-Founder, Field Culture Compost

How it works

The process is simple and makes composting as easy as 1-2-3.

A cute little graphic that shows the process. Photo via Field Culture Compost

  1. You fill it.

    After you sign up, Field Culture will give you a container with a lid. All you have to do is fill it with kitchen scraps and other compostable items.

  2. They collect it.

    Their team will collect your bucket either weekly or bi-weekly. You get a fresh bucket each time.

  3. They put your scraps to good use.

    Field Culture Compost will use your waste as an ingredient to make compost that’ll be used by farmers, gardeners and landscapers to return valuable nutrients back to the land.

Ready to get started? Here are their great rates depending on what method works best for you.

  • $24 every 4 weeks (includes a 3.5 gallon container + weekly pick-up)
  • $16 every 4 weeks (includes 3.5 gallon container + bi-weekly pick-up)
  • 5 gallon option coming soon

Register for pickup here and get to composting. There’s no better time to start than now. They’ll even have finished compost available by Spring 2020 to use in your own garden.

You can catch them at the upcoming Birdsong Farmer’s Markets from 7AM-12PM at Automatic Seafood as well as the Unity of Birmingham Farmers Markets from 4PM-7PM on Highland Avenue to learn more. In the meantime, follow them on social for important updates.

Healthy soils, waste diversion, and keeping resources in our communities are issues for everyone and there are plenty of ways to involve yourself and stay engaged. I would say that one of the easiest ways is to just be aware of one’s purchases when shopping—less plastic packaging, no plastic grocery bags, and maybe the most important(in my opinion), shop with local vendors and farmers. Some very small decisions can make huge impacts in our communities.

Matthew Nesbitt, Co-Founder, Field Culture Compost

Be sure to follow @BhamNow on social to keep up with the latest and greatest in Birmingham biz like Field Culture Compost.


  • Chaise is a brunch-loving Content Producer and helps manage the Bham Now Instagram account.