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What Compost Equipment Do You Need For Your Business?

The demand for composting services is growing in the United States. Commercial composting businesses collect organic waste from businesses and individuals to turn it into nutrient-rich compost. This compost can then be sold and used for landscaping, gardening and growing fruit & vegetables.

When you start a compost business, it is important to have the right compost equipment and compost tools to get the job done. These composting tools help save time, energy and they make composting easier, more efficient, and more effective. For example, investing in an excavator to move piles of compost. This can save you a lot of effort than shoveling and moving it all yourself!

<div id="What-compost-equipment">What compost equipment do I need for my business?</div>

In our last blogs, we found out all the reasons you should start a composting business & how to set up a composting business. If you're planning on starting a commercial composting business in the United States, there are a few essential pieces of equipment you'll need. Here's a list of the most important compost tools, and why each piece is important for your composting business.

Compost equipment for a small-scale business

If you are just starting out with your compost business, you might want to keep costs as low as possible. Focus on spending money on key composting tools or ones that will help you save time and money. Here is a list of compost tools for a small-scale compost business.

Collection containers

You will be collecting lots of organic waste from businesses and individuals. To do this, you'll need containers that are specifically designed for collecting organic waste. These containers should be sturdy, easy to clean, and weather resistant.

Large plastic containers with metal bars around them for extra support
Large sturdy containers like these are perfect for storing compost

Small truck or trailer

You might want to get a small truck or trailer so that you can drive your collection containers to your customers to collect their composting waste.

blue flat bed trailer with 4 wheels and a tow pole
Trailers are great for picking up compost feedstocks from customers

Good quality shovel and pitchfork

You will be moving and turning piles of compost so a sturdy shovel and pitchfork is a must!

Compost bins

Depending on the size of your compost piles, compost bins are covered bins that protect your pile from drying out or getting too much water. It also helps keep the temperature of your compost pile warm, helping breakdown your material. For larger piles, bins aren’t big enough - you’ll need to cover your piles in plastic.

black compost bin with 3 doors opened to show some composting material and some food scraps incuding cabage, lettuce, onions, carrots and paper
Compost bin

Compost sifter

Once you have made your compost you will need to make sure that it is free from plastic and large rocks. A dirt sifter or screener is perfect for this as the wire mesh allows the fine compost to fall through, separating it from the unwanted materials. You can pick up a small, basic compost sifter for only a few dollars and as your business grows you can think about investing in a trommel.

wooden and metal compost sifter with handle on top of a brown wheelbarrow in a garden
Handmade compost sifter from

Compost equipment for a large-scale business

Collection containers

Just like in the section above, collection containers are important for safely storing and transporting your compost feedstocks. For larger businesses, you will need a fleet of these!

Dump trucks

Once you've collected the organic waste, you'll need a way to move it to your composting facility. This is where trucks come in. These trucks should be large enough to hold the waste you collect, and should be designed with features that make it easy to unload the waste at your facility.

large red and balck dumptruck unloading compost onsite
Large dumptrucks

Excavators and Loaders

An excavator can help move large amounts of compost materials easily. They can help turn your compost pile and loosen dense material, making it easier for oxygen to mix and speed up the composting process. Excavators are great for loading trucks and sorting materials so you don't have to move large piles by hand.

Compost turners

Once the organic waste is at your site, it needs to be turned regularly to aerate (mix in air) the compost and help it break down. This is where compost turners come in. These machines are designed to mix and aerate the compost, and can make the process much more efficient.

Compost turner

Compost aerators

There are lots of different ways to mix air into your compost pile. Compost aerators are important as they help to circulate air - important for speeding up composting.  Compost aerators are available in different forms such as manual hand tools, electric power tools and machines, so you can choose one depending on your budget and needs. You can also lay down clay pipes with holes in them and put in units that blow air directly into the piles - the video below explains everything you need to know!

Pipes used for aerating compost

Compost screeners and sifters

As the compost breaks down, it will need to be screened. This removes any large pieces of debris that didn't break down completely or any plastic waste. Screening your compost is important if you want to produce a high-quality product. Scalping screens are great for screening compost but the best machine for the job is a trommel. Find out more about trommels here in our blog.

Large orange trommel screener screening compost onsite
Trommel screening compost

Moisture meters

In order for the compost to break down properly, it needs to be at the right moisture level (the amount of water). Too much moisture can lead to anaerobic decomposition, which can produce odors and attract pests. Too little moisture can slow down the composting process. Moisture meters can help you monitor the moisture level of your compost, so you can make sure it's at the perfect level.


The temperature of the compost is another important factor in the composting process. Too low of a temperature can slow down the process, while too high of a temperature can kill the bacteria that are breaking down the organic waste. Thermometers can help you monitor the temperature of your compost, so you can make sure it's at the right level.


Conveyors are a great investment for a composting business as they can move your screened compost directly from the screener to stockpile it far away from your machines. You also won’t need to move your piles with an excavator saving you lots of time driving about loading and unloading it.

red tracked conveyor being used to stockpile compost

<div id="Compost-equipment-summary">Compost equipment summary</div>

Overall, starting a commercial composting business in the United States requires a significant investment in equipment and infrastructure. But with the right equipment and a well-designed facility, you can provide a valuable service that helps businesses and individuals reduce their environmental impact and produce nutrient-rich compost for agriculture and gardening.

<div id="Find-more-information">Where can I find out more information on composting tools and machinery?</div>

Machinery Partner is always here to help get you the right equipment for your business. We have excavators of all sizes and trommels in stock and ready to ship to anywhere in the United States. To find out more information or composting tools get in contact with our Machinery Partner experts.