Curbside Composting Trial Program

The Chattanooga Curbside Compost Trial is a collaboration between the City of Chattanooga, CoLab and NewTerra Compost to find a better solution to the current waste handling in the city.  This trial is designed to reduce the amount of trash that the city is responsible for handling and the frequency at which they pick it up.  The idea is that when you remove organic material from your trash, you not only reduce the volume but also remove the odor-producing material that makes the trash container stink.  With the lower volume and no rotting food, your actual trash only needs to be picked up every other week.  Ready to try?

The trial provides you with 2-months of curbside Composting Service from NewTerra Compost at no cost.  You receive all of the conveniences that come with the curbside service for free!  You must complete the weekly surveys and agree to reduce your use of your garbage pickup to bi-weekly.

To participate in this trial you must meet the following requirements:


  • Be a resident of the City of Chattanooga.

  • Reside in a single-family house that currently receives trash picked up by the City.

  • Not be an existing member of NewTerra Compost.

  • Agree to complete all surveys for the trial. One survey at the beginning, end and each week.

  • Agree that information will be collected on your usage of trash services and compost services.  Your individual data will be compiled with other participants, but your name and address will never be shared outside of the team involved with evaluating the results.

So how does it work?
Step by step:

Step 1
Step 2

Complete Survey #1

Step 3

Receive your bucket the week of November 8th and start composting! More instructions and tips will be emailed to you to build a simple and easy process at your home.

Step 4

Skip every other week of trash service. Your ability to do this is what the trial is aiming to prove.

Step 5

Eight weeks later receive the final survey.


What is the curbside composting service?

You fill your five-gallon bucket with organic material, see the full list here, and every week it is swapped out for a fresh bucket and liner.  Switch it out every week to avoid odors and fruit flies. 


Why do I need a credit card to sign up for a free trial?

This is typically a paid service, and we are using an existing process to administer this trial.  You will not be charged anything unless you decided to make a purchase through the user portal that is created for you.  This costs you nothing.  Contact us if accidentally purchase an item or the code did not work and you were charged. You will only be charged a fee if you decide to continue the service (either kiosk or curbside).


What happens at the end of the trial?

Once the trial is complete, you will receive an email notification and written notification that the trial is done.  If you decide to continue using the curbside compost service you do not need to take any action.  You will be charged the standard rate of $30/month for curbside or $15 for the kiosk, based on your choice. If you want to end the service, email us at and you will never be charged.


Will my garbage still be picked up?

Yes, the City of Chattanooga garbage trucks does not have the capability to “skip” your house for the trial.  We are asking that you self-report your usage of the city trash service in the survey.


What type of data is being collected?

The trial is looking at the pounds of compostable material you dispose of, the frequency that you use the compost service, the frequency that you use your trash service, the amount of trash you estimate in bags, and how you feel this would work for your household.


The trial already has all the participants, what do I do!?!?!?

You can still sign up, it just won't be free. We are sorry.


Why would the city pay for this?

Trash is expensive.  Large trucks, specialized drivers, and disposal costs.  The trial is designed to help reduce the amount of time garbage trucks spend picking up trash and eventually the miles they drive. Nothing is free. We pay for recycling and trash through our taxes. This is an effort to help make our system more efficient and sustainable.


I still have questions, can I talk to someone?

Yes, we are a local company and we love talking about compost.  Call us at 423-250-1444 or email