Who we are

Who is the Compost Fairy?

The Compost Fairy is bringing another option for sustainable living in Memphis, TN. We know you care about the environment. We want to help you put that into action & live your values. Let’s make our community an even greater place to live. The Compost Fairy takes seemingly useless material and turns it into what it’s meant to be – a beneficial soil amendment. But it’s even beyond that. We are an educational resource – a way to teach people about simple ways to reduce their impact on our environment. While we make this easy for you, the smallest steps can have profound impacts.

This means less food waste in our already overflowing landfills! By simply composting these kitchen scraps, we help eliminate approximately 16% of methane emissions in the US (the single largest source of methane pollution).
You can reduce your personal carbon footprint by letting the Compost Fairy collect your food scraps and lawn waste, then we make it magically turn into a renewable product. Through this experience, we hope we all start thinking about how to consume things in a way that wastes less. As we grow, the Compost Fairy is committed to creating sustainable job opportunities in Memphis that pay a living wage.

The Compost Fairy is also a proud partner in a city-wide reforestation effort aimed at improving environmental services and public health. Watch Facebook for upcoming events: www.facebook.com/compostfairy

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Check out our FAQs on Atlas Organics here.


You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!

Did you know that improperly disposed of foodstuffs are the single highest producers of the detrimental greenhouse gas methane? Approximately 16% of all methane produced in the US is the byproduct of poorly managed, and entirely compostable food residuals. The Compost Fairy is dedicated to short-circuiting the home-to-landfill pipeline status quo in waste management. By allowing our material to decompose naturally on the surface (not buried deep within a landfill) our process encourages healthy aerobic microbes (the good guys) to break down food into helpful compost. Food in landfills breaks down anaerobically (with the not-so-good-guys) producing leachate, a dangerous chemical cocktail that poisons our groundwater and threatens public health.

Magic! Your bucket travels by Fairy to our facility where your material is processed and returned to the community (you!), in the form of wonderfully tilthy, nutrient dense, soil-building compost. You’ll receive a fresh bucket every time the Compost Fairy comes for a visit.


We do! Us Compost Fairies have lots of friends, including Clean Memphis, Project Greenfork, Get Green Recycle Works, Knowledge Quest, The Works, and Neighborhood Preservation, Inc. Go check them out, because they’re all working hard to make Memphis a better place to live. We’re even working on a super exciting project to #recanopymemphis focused on growing our urban tree canopy, and lots of long-term employment opportunities in the sustainability sector right here in Memphis. Learn more here.


Everyone that’s enrolled in our residential and commercial pickup service gets screened, finished compost back at least twice a year. Because our restaurants generally don’t keep up with a forest or a multi-acre lawn, they generally can’t use everything they produce.That’s when they get to choose a local school or community garden to donate their compost to. If you’re an apartment dweller that’s not I love with houseplants, you can do the same. We can’t always promise it, but if you find yourself in need of a little extra, hit us up and we’ll do our best to scare some up for you.


All compost is mulch, but not all mulch is compost. Make sense? No? Well think about it this way: Mulch is a term for any material used in landscaping for erosion control, water retention and/or weed suppression. Compost qualifies for sure, only its way more useful, because it actually feeds your garden while it does all those other things. We’ve never met a pea gravel that will jumpstart your sunflowers in the springtime!


Feed the Earth! No seriously. Decades of terrible land management and chemical-dependent agricultural practice have left our soils in pretty rough shape. Topsoil is disappearing quickly and about 80% of historical soil carbon has found its way up into the atmosphere where it contributes significantly to – you guessed it – climate change. By composting and returning all that carbon-rich humus (that’s nerd talk for compost, because compost isn’t nerdy enough), you are taking a big step towards living those sustainable, Eco-friendly values that we all hold dear. Great job!

Use your compost in the hole to feed that new tree, shrub or perennial (consider native species, please!), use it as a mulch in your veggie patch or flower bed, or add it to potting soil to give your houseplants a much needed kick.

Right now, we’re trying to stick close to home base in Midtown (Downtown, Uptown, Orange Mound, and University District will do, too), but there is strength in numbers! If we can create a nucleus in your part of the hinterlands that doesn’t create a Sasquatch-sized carbon footprint, we are at your service. Hit us up, suburbanites. Let’s get it done!

Our repurposed 3-gallon bucket is provided free of charge to all our residential pickup subscribers. A 14-gallon roller bin is provided to each restaurant or office enrolled in our commercial pickup service. Our friends that drop their compost at the Cooper-Young Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 9:00AM to 1:00PM are welcome to bring their own container, or buy one of the fancy-fabulous Compost Fairy buckets for sale in our Swag section!

If you have a special relationship (no judgement) with your own personal compost bucket, then by all means proceed, you lovebirds! Just make sure it’s clearly identified and we know where to find it. Remember that it’ll need a friend so we can clean it up for you and return it on our next visit.

Compostables get a bad rap in the nose department. Smells like future-plant-food to us! That being said, we come by once a week to nip those undesirable odoriferous emanations right in the bud. If your sniffer is particularly fine-tuned and easily offended, we’ll work out a schedule that won’t leave you making an onion face every time you feed your bucket.

The folks at Compost Fairy and Atlas Organics have been swapping compost knowledge for the last few years. Good people end up meeting good people when the mission is aligned. It made sense that when Memphis was ready to go REALLY big in composting operations – we’re talking industrial scale – that our friends would be able to help do that.

Atlas Organics is in the business of building and spreading composting opportunities. Here in Memphis, they will be taking the reins for our regular operations, as well as facilitating residential and commercial compost services. They’re no stranger to residential services: take a look at their Compost House program and learn more about Atlas Organics.

Check out more questions on Atlas Organics here.

Compost Fairy has done what all nonprofits dream of doing – we accomplished the mission! We focused on educating the community about diverting waste, provided composting services, and created an industrial scale compost operation in our city. Most nonprofits are created with the hope of one day working themselves out of a job – HOLY MOLY! We actually did it. Take that for data. As we mentioned before, the Atlas compost hustle & muscle will allow us Compost Fairies to deploy Mission 2.0. It’s time for us to pivot and for someone else to take the reins: cue Atlas Organics. We’re really proud to have them here in Memphis.  Find out more about what led to this decision in our Love Letter.

The mission of Compost Fairy is waste diversion and changing the culture to drive that – and there’s still plenty of work to be done! This tireless board of incredible volunteers is helping this transition for you and are busy cooking up additional strategies along with our sister nonprofits to bring more sustainability education and activation to Memphis. More questions?  Email info@compostfairy.com.