Frequently Asked Questions


Most frequent questions and answers

See our full list below. We are always expanding, so please drop us a line if you live in the Greater Boston, Greater Providence (RI), or Worcester area. You heard right! We’re now open and operating in Providence, RI and Worcester!

Full community List:

Allston, Arlington, Attleboro (RI), Auburndale, Barrington (RI), Belmont, Boston, Braintree, Brighton, Bristol (RI), Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Central Falls (RI), Charlestown, Chelsea, Chestnut Hill, Cumberland (RI), Cranston (RI), Dedham, Dorchester, Dover, East Boston, Everett, Hingham, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Lexington, Lynn, Lincoln (RI), Malden, Mattapan, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Natick, Needham, Newton, North Kingston (RI), Pawtucket (RI), Potowomut (RI), Providence (RI), Quincy, Reading, Revere, Riverside (RI), Roslindale, Roxbury, Saugus, Somerville, South Boston, Stoneham, Waban, Wakefield, Waltham, Warren (RI), Warwick (RI), Watertown, Wellesley, West Roxbury, Weston, Westwood, Weymouth, Winchester, Winthrop, Woburn, Woonsocket (RI), and Worcester!

Except for metal, plastic or rubber, almost anything goes! So feel free to include fruits & veggies; cooking oil; eggshells; meat, bones, seafood & dairy; bread, grains & pasta; coffee grounds, filters, tea-bags, & biodegradable cafe items; nuts & spices; napkins, paper towels, & compostable cutlery; and small yard clippings & flowers. If you’re unsure, just ask.

Please note, due to COVID-19, we are asking you to please refrain from composting used tissues to mitigate the risk of exposure to our staff.  Learn more here.

Infographic: What you can and can’t compost with Bootstrap.

Yes! Meat and dairy are perfectly viable building blocks for quality finished compost when managed properly. Our partners at Rocky Hill Farm are vigilant with their piles. The material is regularly aerated through turning (which promotes microbial activity). As a result, the stubborn animal products decompose along with other standard organic material (landscape debris and food). Please note, however, that meat and dairy products can play host to fragrant bacteria, so please exercise caution when including these items in your Bootstrap bucket. We encourage you to freeze these items until your bucket is ready to be picked up.

For half the cost of your regular service, we offer a second (or third, or fourth) bucket for larger hauls. $5 for weekly clients, $6 for biweekly clients. Because our cyclists and drivers serve 25 to 70 clients per day, respectively, our capacity is limited and we cannot offer complimentary pickups of scraps that don’t fit inside the bucket at this time.

Please place your full bucket near the front entrance of your residence by 7 a.m. on your scheduled Bootstrap day. Should the front entrance prove difficult to access due to physical disability issues, we will happily arrange for another drop off location.

Nope. Just leave your bucket near the front entrance of your residence on the day of your pickup and we’ll swap it out. Service occurs between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m, so it may take a few hours.

Please write to us to let us know and to arrange a new bucket, or an alternative collection method for the current cycle. Please note we charge a $3 fee for buckets lost or stolen from your address.

Indeed there is! Sign up a friend and receive two free pickups. Just make sure they mention your name in the “Hear About” section during enrollment.

We sure do. Our commercial clients range from high-rise offices to corner cafes. If you’re looking for service at your office, please fill out a form here. For restaurant service, click here.

Team Boot returns finished compost on a by-request basis. You can request compost in your account portal or by emailing us and a delivery will be scheduled ASAP. Each customer is allotted six shares annually (totaling about 40 pounds!). You can request it all at once or one share at a time – whatever your project demands.

No need for personal compost? Then your share is donated to local school and community gardening projects. Over the years, our compost has boosted green spaces ranging from Dearborn Elementary in Roxbury, the Food Project, Sullivan Square Community Garden, and more. Read more about our compost donations on our blog.

We provide an automated billing system for all clients, making payments to BSC hassle and worry-free. Sorry, cash or checks are not accepted.

Click here to register your new card. Once you do so, please give us a heads up and email our billing guru Jake at so we can delete your old account.

Maggots are macro-decomposers like our old pals worms. And though maggots might be a little unpleasant to be around, they are a natural part of the decomposition process. To mitigate their presence, try covering your scraps with shredded newspaper or by adding several hefty pinches of salt. These techniques will serve to dry out their environment and effectively send them to a better place.

Certainly. Currently we offer weekly and biweekly service. We’ll work with you to come up with the best pickup plan.

We love notice of at least 7 days. It allows us to issue refunds without delay while making our routing and deliveries as humanly efficient as possible. The hard rule is this: we require advance notice of at least 48-hours to issue a refund before the affected service date. So, sooner is better because it’ll save you some bucks

We occasionally offer in-kind deals as part of our Bootstrap Buddies program. In the past, Bootstrap has partnered with JP Centre Yoga to offer free yoga classes, Boston Organics for discounts on produce delivery and Buckle Farm for 10% off Buckle Farm CSA shares. We also teamed up with Mei Mei Street Kitchen to give away free iced teas to Bootstrap customers. Basically, we’re always up to something in the Perks Department.