Ode to the Bucket- Tribute to Community Composters

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Ode to the Bucket

Earth 2 Earth MC.


Composting is way of recyc Mother Earth p the resources w a circular econ returns valuab the soil helpin quality, fertility levels while suppress plant


natures oldest cling herself. provides us all we need to live in nomy. Compost ble nutrients to ng it maintain y and moisture also helping t disease.



Ode to the Bucket A photobook by

Earth 2 Earth MC.


Copyright © 2021 by Earth 2 Earth Media Co. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproducedin any manner whatsoever wihouth written permision, except in the case of breath quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews For information and questions, address: Earth 2 Earth MC. 3432 W Diversey Ave. Floor 2 Chicago IL, 60647 Printed in United States of America Book Production Earth 2 Earth Media Co. Art Direction and design by Ricardo Torres - MántamasMedia Illustrations by Angela Christodoulou First edition


Thank you to the all community composters who have decided to take the leap and build their businesses while positively impacting their community. Without your work and dedication this would not have been possible, Mother Earth salutes you.


In memory of Alberto Ferro August 20, 1959 - March 29, 2020

Dad we love you and miss you. You showed all your kids what unconditional love and support for one another truly meant. You left a hole in all our hearts and we miss you every day. On your last few months on Earth you fell in love with composting. I will never forget the smile you always had on your face when Tuesday came around and Mr Fox Composting was there to pick up your bucket. I will work every day as you thought me, follow my dreams and be happy. Until I see you again old man I will continue to make you proud, I love you.




Brown and green fields 49722 El Perdigón, Zamora, Spain, El Perdigón

@elizabeth.lies



Ode to the Bucket


Person digging on soil using garden shovel Lisa Fotios Source: Pexels.com


Contents A WORD FROM OUR MC

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COMPOSTING

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What is composting?

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Why composting?

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COMMUNITY COMPOSTERS

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West

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Midwest

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Northeast

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South

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Pacific

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Canada

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TOTAL IMPACT

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Sustainability encompasses

several aspects of our life and one of these is how we manage our daily waste. We must minimize our consumption by reusing and reducing while f inding

a proper process for our waste. Composting is an ideal solution as 50% of our daily household waste is made of organic materials.


Our Mother Earth

Our Mother Earth Camilo A. Ferro

Founder

For the last decade I have worked globally and throughout the US promoting composting and zero waste strategies. From my travels to Miami, Boston, New York and International travel to Myanmar, Cuba or Bangladesh I have seen the education and implementation of these initiatives first-hand. I have been inspired and motivated by every parent, entrepreneur and student that has realized the importance of composting in their local communities. Composting has an incredible impact in our neighborhoods, from developing sustainable jobs, greenifying our communities and the social inclusion and empowerment for our neighbors. The Community Composters featured in this book are the true inspiration behind “Ode to the Bucket”. They are innovators and entrepreneurs following their passion and everyday they are working to leave Earth in a better place then they found her. Their members interact with a beautiful bucket daily and further connect themselves to their waste and food they consume while continuing to live in a more sustainable mindset. 2020 was a challenge for us all physically, mentally and emotionally but I am true believer that within community and unity our happiness will multiply in 2021. Community Composters thank you for the work you do and we hope to inspire others to follow in your footsteps 17


Ode to the Bucket

What is Composting? Compost is simply decayed organic matter, if it grows it goes. A tree branch can be organic matter and so can vegetable and food scraps. When these items are mixed together properly in a compost pile, they break down naturally into a nutrient-rich fertilizer for soil. For proper composting to take place, you must keep in mind the combination of nitrogen and carbon. Nitrogen would be considered your “greens” such as food scraps and coffee grounds. Carbon would be considered your “browns” such as newspaper clippings and cardboard.

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What / Why Composting?

Why Composting? A recent study showed that almost half of our residential waste can be composted. Compostable material cannot break down in a landfill, as it would in nature or in a compost pile. Instead, it decomposes without oxygen, releasing harmful methane into the atmosphere. If were able to compost our waste successfully it would be the equivalent of reducing 13 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. If Food Waste was a country, it would be the third largest contributor to Global Warming. * United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Benefits of Composting + Composting diverts food waste from landfills and lowers harmful emissions + Composting conserves water and improves soil health + Composting decreases the need for artificial fertilizers + Composting saves money on trash removal The average person creates roughly 1600 pounds of trash each year, close to a ton of waste per individual in the US. In the US, 99 million acres of soil (28% of cropland) are eroding beyond soil tolerance rates, which means that we are losing topsoil at a faster rate than it is formed. Organisms found in compost protect against soil-borne diseases and path pathogens. Compost reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides. In the US, landfills have become the 3rd largest source of greenhouse gasses. Composting absorbs odors and treats volatile organic compounds. Composting also stops heavy metals from entering waterways or from being absorbed into plants.

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Community Composters 21


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West Compostable Down to Earth Soil Cycle Wompost Coop Yes Compost

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Composters


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Composters

Compostable @compostable.la www.compostablela.com

Monique Figueiredo is an eco-entrepreneur who stepped up to fill a community need for a convenient and reliable compost pickup service. She intends to make composting food scraps a “must-do” – just like recycling. “When I moved from Boston to LA, I quickly realized that composting in my backyard was not something I could continue to doing. There also were not any pick-up services in my new community. With the support of my friends and teachers at UCLA’s Sustainability Certificate program, I decided to do my part in tackling this need. Composting sounds too good to be true, but it really is a simple solution that has massive impacts.” Compostable is a food waste pickup service operating in Los Angeles. Our mission is to close the loop in our food systems by turning former waste into future nutrients. We are working to build sustainably minded communities by cultivating individual awareness, empowerment, and collaboration. I see Compostable affording people the opportunity to reduce their food waste despite any personal obstacles they may face, such as limited space, busy schedules, or personal discomfort. I want every subscriber to feel part of a community, part of the solution, and connected to something positive and large. “Compostable aims to give people the same warm feeling they get when they know they’ve “done good” – Monique Figueiredo 2020 Impact: Active Members: 349 2020 YTD Diversion (lbs): 49,822 2020 YTD Pickups: 5,262

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Composters

Down to Earth @downtoearthcomposting www.downtoearthcomposting.com

Composting is a win-win-win for your family, your community and for the environment. When you sign up for a Down to Earth bin, you are supporting a community wide effort to reduce unnecessary waste in landfills, prevent groundwater pollution and reduce our carbon footprint. Our primary goal is to divert food waste from the landfill and use it to build healthy soils in Northern Nevada. We do this by providing bike-powered weekly collection as well as a pay-as-you-throw drop-off option. Compost puts your food waste to good use and nourishes your plants, which leads to bigger, healthier yields. Neighborhood composting is an amazing way to connect with your community and complete the natural cycle from garden to table and back again. 2020 Impact: - 150,000 lbs of food collected and diverted from the landfill in 2020. - 700+ collection and drop-off members - 5 drop-off points around Reno, Nevada including a local farmers market - 80 square mile is the size of our current service area, biked 3,400 miles in 2020

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Composters

Soil Cycle @soilcycle www.soilcyclemissoula.com

Soil Cycle’s mission, vision, and goals are community-minded and sustainably founded. Not only do they strive to divert waste from the local landfill, but they are also committed to reducing emissions by using human-powered means for food scrap collection and recycling. Soil Cycle aims to give back to Missoula through partnerships and sustainable education to create a healthier, more self-sufficient community. In 2017, the debut of the idea to use bicycles to collect food scraps and rebuild soil resulted in thousands of community members helping name the idea, thus coming up with “Soil Cycle.” The organization’s main goals focus on waste reduction, regeneration, food sovereignty, permaculture, and community empowerment. They collect over 1,200 lbs of food scraps weekly, rain, shine, or snow from over 180 members. They calculated that roughly each bicycle route reduces 500-700 grams of CO2 from the atmosphere just by using sustainable transportation. Each compost pile sequesters over 1,500 lbs of carbon, helping to heal the atmosphere and make healthy soil. Volunteers get their hands dirty building compost piles and delivering compost to members in spring and fall each year. The completion of the natural cycle is intentionally built into the organization’s mission to empower individuals to grow their own food and recover the soil’s health.” 2020 Impact: - Food waste diverted from the landfill 54,000lbs - CO2 emissions reduced by using bicycles as transportation 2,244lbs - CO2 sequestered by composting 32,260lbs - Soil Cycle members 180

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Composters

Wompost Coop @wompostaurora www.wompostcoop.com

Carolyn started Wompost in 2018 to finally bring compost collection to her own home in Aurora. She loves big trucks, overalls, eating yummy local food and sustainability. Wompost provides a simple way to recycle your biodegradable waste into compost. Just like curbside trash and recycling pickup, we pickup your food scraps and yard waste once a week from your house. Then we get finished compost back to you. We hope to provide compost collection available to every single person in Colorado who wants it. Wompost is a worker-owned cooperative - our vision is to make composting, and great jobs, available to all colorado communities! We are very excited to be servicing 300+ customers as a small business. In 2019 and 2020 we: - Collected 153,568 lbs of food and yard waste - Avoided 53 tons of CO2 equivalent gases - Delivered 138,700 lbs of compost to farms, gardens, and happy plants.

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Composters

Yes Compost @yescompost www.yescompost.com

“Once you’ve experienced the magic of compost, it can’t be ignored” During a stint living in San Francisco I got accustomed to the ease of municipal compost service. We had a small bin in our kitchen and a big bin outside and once a week the contents of the big bin disappeared off to the compost facility. When I moved to Bozeman in 2014 I assumed I would be able to participate in a similar system, but I was disappointed to find that nothing of the sort existed. I began an in-depth search into composting in the area and found out that many towns and cities have zero options. “Landfills are cheap” said with a shrug of the shoulders was the general response from municipal leaders when I questioned them about when this sort of compost service would be offered. A bit disheartened, I spent the next few years educating myself about composting in the area and hoping that something would fall into place. In the spring of 2018 that thing fell, or better yet, wiggled into place. Worms! I knew that there was a market for food scrap collection in the area based upon some companies staring up in that sector, but I was not convinced that traditional compost was the right product for my business. However, by using composting worms, the end-product is true “black gold” and is something that I know I can feel great about providing to my customers. From that belief in the product, YES Compost LLC was born. Now the task remains to continue educating people about the power of worm castings as an organic fertilizer and convince our nation to not only keep food wastes out of the landfill but also turn back to natural fertilizers and away from the chemicals that are so destructive to our soils. I look forward to starting in our Bozeman community and showing the state and country how closing the nutrient cycle as locally as possible benefits everyone. I hope you join me on this adventure. - Karl We are doing between 12,000 and 15,000 lbs per week at this point and have over 200 residential participants and nearly 50 businesses participating. Mission: Build soil 33


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Midwest Better Bin Rust Belt Riders The Urban Canopy

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Composters

Better Bin Compost @betterbincompost www.betterbincompost.com

We are committed to educating individuals on the significance of their food waste habits and encouraging meaningful conversation around what it means to throw something ‘away.’ “I was at personal cross-roads for wanting to live a less-wasteful lifestyle, but fully committed to the excuse that I did not have the time, space or resources available to begin composting. As if those excuses were not bad enough, I was skeptical that just one person could really make a difference. For me, Better Bin is more than a curbside compost service. It is an opportunity to collectively share and celebrate our small changes – Together, our small changes can lead to measurable and meaningful impact. Better Bin Compost has partnered with GoZero Services, a food waste compost courier who has been in the compost collection service since 2016. Our partnership means that we are able to focus our efforts on serving and educating our community. As of right now, there are no compost facilities in southern Ohio that can process food waste. With GoZero’s help, all the food waste we collect is transported to several facilities in northern Ohio from Columbus to Toledo. Our hope, is that as more people become educated and informed on zero waste practices, like composting, more opportunities will develop locally for diverting food waste from landfills!”- Olivia (Founder) 2019: (First year of business) our residents diverted 6,232 pounds of waste from landfill. 2020: Diverted approximately 30,580 pounds of food waste from landfill. Despite setbacks with COVID-19, we continued to focus on our goals and we added more service options, established foundations for creating our own compost, and worked closely with community partners to help build a stronger network for composting in Cincinnati. Our Mission: We believe we can do better than the landfill. “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” Anne-Marie Bonneau, Zero-Waste Chef

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Composters

Rust Belt Riders @rustbeltriders www.rustbeltriders.com

We were founded in 2014. We began after struggling to get much of anything to grow at a community garden we had started in 2011. Urban soils are historically depleted or nutrients, are often highly contaminated and even more compacted. We decided to bridge our day-time passion of gardening and food productions, with our night-time jobs in the restaurant industry. After seeing the level of interest from consumers to better connect with their food systems at farm-to-table restaurants we wanted to explore if we could complete that resource loop to have the table contribute back to the farm. So, in 2014, we purchased a mountain bike and had a trailer welded to the back of it and slowly began collecting food scraps, 300 pounds at a time, from restaurants we and our friends worked at. We would transport that material to community gardens and work with them to establish composting systems to better support their efforts. Since 2014, Rust Belt Riders has been working with people and organizations across Northeast Ohio to provide them with a clean and timely alternative to landfills for their food waste. By diverting food from landfill, we support our local food system through the creation of value added agricultural products. On a weekly basis, the Rust Belt Riders team is collecting over 50,000 lbs of food waste from our over 160 clients. In 2019, we diverted around 2.4 million pounds of food waste. In 2019 we also launched our community drop-off program that invites residents to dropoff their household food scraps to community-based drop-off centers. We presently have over 500 active members. In early 2020 we launched our to-your-door pick-up service and are eager to see how that grows this year!

Our Mission: Create wealth from waste in order to feed people, not landfills.

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Composters

The Urban Canopy @theurbancanopy www.theurbancanopy.org

While working with Chicago Public Schools as an Education Pioneer Fellow in 2010, our founder Alex Poltorak explored how nutrition affects children in school. If a child can’t get enough to eat, or lacks healthy food options, concentrating at and succeeding in school become secondary concerns. Alex dreamed of utilizing idle rooftops, vacant lots, and empty buildings in urban environments to grow fruits & vegetables as a way to attack this problem directly within communities. In the process of researching the idea’s feasibility, he discovered Plant Chicago, a “vertical farming” project, directed by John Edel in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. The Urban Canopy began a pilot rooftop farm at The Plant in the beginning of 2011 with a few test systems as a proof of concept. Although no longer on The Plant’s rooftop, The Urban Canopy has grown into a much bigger crew of passionate people. This crew has grown thousands of wheatgrass and micro-green trays in our indoor growing space at Plant Chicago. The team has become part of a growing community of conventional and pop up Farmer’s Markets throughout the city of Chicago. The Urban Canopy’s Local Unified CSA now runs for 36 weeks of the year and has delivered over 1,200 shares. Compost Club and an outdoor farm tie the local food cycle together with a food scrap collection service that takes valuable nutrients from eco-conscious Chicago eaters and produces compost vital for healthy soil on a two-acre farm in the Englewood neighborhood. The Urban Canopy is a for-profit business registered in Illinois in 2011. We are currently exploring becoming “B-Corp” certified with a triple bottom line of “People, Planet, & Profit.”

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Northeast BK Rot Bootstrap Compost CERO Composting Java’s Compost Mother Compost Mr. Fox Composting Reclaimed Organics Willow Tree Community Compost

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“ not just beautiful, though—the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they’re watching me. ” haruki murakami

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Composters

BK Rot @bk_rot www.bkrot.org

BK ROT is New York City’s first community-supported, bike-powered, fossil fuel free food waste hauling and composting service. Our project is staffed by young people of color who haul organic waste from small businesses and transform it into high quality compost. Our operations provide accessible jobs and sustained professional development for emerging environmental leaders. Our Values BK ROT is a community centered, closed loop, fossil-fuel free approach to hauling and composting commercial food waste in NYC. Our team uses regular bikes with trailers that can haul up to 600 pounds and we also have an e-trike; an electric cargo trike which allows our bikers to go farther distances and also haul up to 600 lbs with more ease. Our e-trike batteries are charged via our solar panels on site. All of our processing takes place in Know Waste Lands community garden, which is about 2,500 square feet. Part of the site is used for our compost processing, and the rest is a wildlife garden with some built beds for fresh food. This past year we switched from a 7-bin processing system and 4-week windrows to processing fully in windrows. Our finished compost goes to local residents and gardens for growing fresh food, nurturing trees, and soil restoration projects. We represent a localized green economy rooted in the principles and values of environmental justice. BK ROT creates space for the leadership of young people of color who disproportionately face the consequences of environmental destruction and yet whose visions and values are excluded from the dominant policy and design strategies for urban sustainability. We prioritize slow growth with deep roots versus rapid expansion that is not grounded. We are designing and implementing a new kind of waste system, one that uses food waste as the foundation for a healthy urban ecosystem, that uplifts the people and places responsible for managing waste, and that demonstrates the power of a regenerative green economy. We are supporting the next generation of environmental justice leaders who will shape our city 45


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Composters

Bootstrap Compost @bootstrapcompost www.bootstrapcompost.com

Slaying waste since 2011, Bootstrap Compost is a leading compost pickup service operating throughout the Boston and Providence areas. Partnering with local farms, Bootstrap diverts thousands of pounds of organic material from landfills every day. As a result, we are harnessing the potential of organic refuse to redefine and empower a local food community. Our farms benefit from our compost in the production of crops while each Bootstrap subscriber receives a portion of black gold for their own gardening projects. Remaining compost is donated to schools and community gardens. We consider it thoughtful, sustainable, and community-engineered composting. Bootstrap Compost - A Sustainable and Social Enterprise for People, Planet, and Profit. For the founders of Bootstrap Compost, operating the company as a social enterprise — that is, an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental wellbeing — has always came as naturally as the compost we make. Maximizing social impact alongside profits has and remains a guiding force at Team Bootstrap. Here at Bootstrap, taking care of our community, employees, and our profitability in a sustainable manner is at the core of our company. After years of practice and implementation, our pricing reflects exactly that. Our numbers for 2020: Staff: 28 Customers: 4,200 Pounds Diverted: 6,800,000 GHG Offset: 4,900,000 Areas now include Boston, Providence, Worcester, The Berkshires, and Manchester NH.

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Composters

CERO Composting @cero.coop www.cero.coop

CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics) is an award-winning commercial composting company based out of Dorchester, MA. We provide food waste pickup and diversion services for a wide range of commercial clients in the metro Boston area, and transport compostables to local farms where they are returned to the soil and used to support the local agricultural economy. Our mission is simple: keep food waste out of landfills, save money for our clients, and provide good green jobs for Boston’s hard working communities. CERO worker-owner Tim Hall says, “When I heard about the green economy for the first time, a light bulb went off in my head. We can create businesses and jobs for ourselves.” He and his partners formed Roxbury Green Power and started a waste vegetable oil collection business, selling used cooking oil from restaurants for reprocessing as biodiesel fuel. By day, Guadalupe Gonzalez did backbreaking work, cleaning commercial buildings. At night, she picked bottles from the trash, selling them to earn precious extra money to support her family -- one of the thousands of “hidden” green economy workers. Determined to put the brakes on unacceptable wages and working conditions, Guadalupe and a team of MassCOSH worker center members joined forces with Tim and Boston Workers Alliance to create a worker-owned compost diversion enterprise. It wasn’t long before CERO was born. Unique as a bilingual, multicultural co-op, CERO completed a year long Direct Public Offering, raising capital by selling shares of dividend-paying stock to regular community people. Lenders who were initially hesitant to take a chance on lower income entrepreneurs in the green economy are now on board. CERO is growing and providing the jobs it promised to workers who own the company. CERO is proud to be part of a burgeoning solidarity economy fostering workplace democracy and new forms of community investment.

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Composters

Java’s Compost @javascompost www.javascompost.com

From crushed crackers to pizza crusts, soggy cereal to burnt toast, my garbage was constantly full. Sometimes that head of lettuce rotted in the fridge, instead of making it onto my family’s dinner plate. It never felt right, throwing away all this food, but I did not see any other way. One day, my husband suggested we try composting. “Um, no thank you” was my immediate response. I wasn’t some modern-day hippy who didn’t mind the smell of rotting food-- or worse, sharing her house with a mouse. But then, I got educated: Over one third of all food produced in America goes uneaten each year, with most of it ending up in our landfills. This is the equivalent to throwing 320,000 jumbo jets worth of food directly into landfills every year. And in the U.S., the largest amount of food waste occurs at the retail, consumer, and household levels. None of this sounded good and with each banana peel I tossed in the trash, my guilt increased. Perhaps it was time to push back against my resistance and give this composting thing a try. So, we started. Simply at first, with a small pail in our kitchen, collecting fruits and vegetables only. No smell, no mice. I was feeling accomplished. Then we expanded to add all our food scraps: cake, cookies, chicken, fries, it all had one destination- the green compost bucket in our kitchen. Quickly, I noticed my garbage drastically decrease, another positive. Now I was feeling really good. How could this be? A girl from NYC whose biggest fear was rodents was now a composter? It’s true. Not only did I become a composter, my husband and I, Java, made it our business to help other families become composters too, collecting food scraps from one family and then another and another. Busy families with no extra time can cut their trash in half and feel better about their food waste knowing it is being recycled and often used to grow more food through compost sales to farmers or compost donations to local urban farms. Just like all living things, food has its own natural life cycle. And, if given the chance at a second life, food can replenish the earth just as it replenishes us. It is the soul of our soil.

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Composters

Mother Compost @mothercompost www.mothercompost.com

Before Mother Compost officially began, Gwenn Nolan started out with a bucket on her counter and a pile in her backyard. As a mother of two, she couldn’t believe how much food was being wasted by her persnickety offspring. Once she became pregnant again and spent her sleepless nights looking at waste information online, she knew she wanted to be part of a solution. And thus, not too long after her third child, Mother Compost was born. When Mother Compost launched in the fall of 2018, we had not thought much beyond making it easy for people to compost. We didn’t fully understand the benefits of compost application, didn’t appreciate that we’d be running a logistics company or that buying trucks requires a lot of research and thought when you want to do more than look cool. From our first customer sign up in December of 2018 right up to today, to say that we’ve been getting a crash course in entrepreneurship and green business is an understatement. It has also been an exhilarating journey that put us in the position to drive change in our community, meet wonderful people doing the same for theirs, and made us feel plugged into the larger world around us. As we suspected in those early days, people do care, they are willing to change, and they welcome local companies providing solutions they can engage with every day. Our customers are our biggest supporters, cheerleaders and heroes. Fast forward to the beginning of 2021, where we stand within spitting distance of 450 subscribers, and it’s hard to even articulate the feeling that comes with pushing on, even if the destination is hazy on the horizon. Being the change, riding the wave, leaning in and dialing up. That is what being in this business requires. And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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Composters


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Composters

Mr. Fox Composting @mrfoxcomposting www.mrfoxcomposting.com

Mr. Fox is a family and we work hard to keep our employees, customers, and the planet safe and happy! Mr. Fox Composting was started over ten years ago. The company had the goal of providing composting service along the New Hampshire and Maine seacoast. Since we started, we have come a long way. Growing for The Future We have been steadily expanding our commercial and residential programs throughout many towns. Additionally, we are growing as a company, hiring more drivers, adding new trucks, and implementing new technologies to make us as efficient as possible. It’s the passion we have for composting and saving the planet that makes us able to continue to push forward and provide these services to our customers. Mr. Fox’s motto is simple, Compost Matters! We believe that the future of our planet is dependent on our communities changing small habits. Composting our organic waste is an easy way to make a difference in the waste stream. Mr. Fox is here to help communities turn small habits into big impacts one bin at a time. Each day presents a new challenge but in the end it’s worth it. What Mr. Fox is able to divert from a landfill weekly makes us so proud and push even harder to keep growing.

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Composters

Reclaimed Organics @reclaimedorganics www.reclaimedorganics.org

Reclaimed Organics, a division of Common Ground Compost LLC (CGC), is a social enterprise offering bike-powered compost micro-hauling services to residents and businesses in Manhattan. Since its inception in 2014, RO has diverted more than 300 tons of food scraps from landfills using only electric assist and manual pedal bikes and cargo trikes. Offering “concierge” compost collection services to a variety of small generators including offices, restaurants, and residences, Reclaimed Organics (RO) helps customers divert food scraps from landfills while supporting customers’ understanding of the importance of keeping food scraps out of the trash. The food scraps collected by RO end up at commercial processing sites in and around New York City that produce nutrient-rich, garden-ready finished compost. Using an enclosed aerated static pile system in a garden in the East Village of Manhattan, RO is able to hyper-locally process a small amount of food scraps into compost and provide that material for free to community gardeners. In May 2020, Reclaimed Organics stepped in when NYC defunded the City’s residential compost collection program as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Demonstrating that a small company can pick up the pieces when the City cannot, RO developed, launched, and continues to manage a residential bucket collection service. RO also runs a weekly compost Pop Up Drop Off (affectionately called PuDo), completely independent of any City funding, while continuing to maintain ongoing commercial collection services. Common Ground Compost is a zero waste services company, specializing in program and infrastructure design, waste diversion education, data management and analytics, and zero waste system implementation. In addition, CGC offers consulting, staffing and equipment to support numerous zero waste events throughout the City. CGC advocates for environmental justice through waste equity, supporting the health and sustaining the growth of urban communities. CGC is a founding member of the NYC Micro-haulers and Processors Trade Association (MPTA). 2020 Impact: 88,073 LBS Diverted 255 Total Clients CO2 Diversion:21.83 MTCO2e (using the new WARM factor) 57


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Composters

Willow Tree Community Compost @willowtreecompostvt www.willowtreecompost.com

Founder Jen Murphy is a Wilder resident of almost 4 years, a mom of two little ones, a wife, an early childhood and outdoor educator, a community gardener, and a compost enthusiast. Growing up in a composting family, she proudly took on the role of the household “Compost Queen,” although not truly appreciating the value of compost until working on farms after college. During that time, Jen quickly fell in love with the process of taking materials that are often considered waste, mixing them together and watching them transform into nutrient rich soil! While working at an after school program in 2006, she was able to get middle schoolers excited about compost by partnering with local restaurants, picking up their food scraps and turning them into soil for gardens. After a few moves, a few different jobs and starting a family, the time is finally right to take her love of compost to the next level! Our mission at Willow Tree Community Compost is simple: Build Community while Creating Compost! We offer curbside food scrap pickup service in the White River Junction, Wilder and Hartford Village neighborhoods of Hartford, VT. All food scraps are either processed in a 3 bin backyard compost system or incorporated into large compost piles at our partner farm, Sunrise Farm. ​ The finished compost will be an invaluable resource for Hartford community gardens and local farms. We are building connections between composting members, gardeners and farmers and are excited to expand these connections to local restaurants, businesses, and schools! 2020 Impact: 35,000 LBS Diverted 100 Customers 59


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South

Curbside Composting Morganton O-Town Compost Seedleaf Wilmington Compost Company

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Composters

Curbside Composting Morganton @curbsidecompostingmorganton www.curbsidecompostingmorganton.com

Responding to the simultaneous growth of community environmental stewardship attitudes, growing mountains of landfill pollution, and emergence of services to help people recycle and compost, we started Curbside Composting Morganton. Get all the benefits of composting without the hassle. Curbside Composting Morganton provides residential and commercial weekly, compost pickup service for your collected compostable material and food waste in the Morganton NC area. We have recently partnered with our local recycling service to launch The Sustainability Partner program which allows local businesses to demonstrate its support of environmental stewardship through composting efforts. A recent study showed that almost half of everything residential customers send to the landfill could have been composted. Compostable material cannot break down in a landfill, as it would in nature or in a compost pile. Instead, it decomposes without oxygen, releasing harmful methane into the atmosphere. While larger cities --- San Francisco, Phoenix, New York --- have programs in place to incentivize or encourage composting among businesses and residents, it appears that few smaller communities like Morganton have these programs. This was a driving force behind the forming of Curbside Composting Morganton. We do about 1.3 tons per month so food scraps diverted would be 15-16 tons per year.

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Composters

O-Town Compost @otowncompost www.o-towncompost.com

O-Town Compost launched in November 2019, and in the first three months of being open it diverted one ton of food waste, signed on 20 residential subscribers, hosted a Zero Waste wedding, and produced two cubic yards of finished compost (a.k.a. O-Town Black Gold) O-Town Compost has a two-part mission: Aims at reducing the amount of food waste going to Orange County’s landfill. Making compost to support the local food system. O-Town Compost seeks to become a key component of the City of Orlando’s waste diversion infrastructure to help it meet its zero-waste goal. Alongside our attack on waste, we provide local food growers natural soil amendments to support local agriculture operations. The founder of O-Town Compost, Charlie Pioli, comes from a career in solid waste/recycling consulting, where he witnessed the egregious waste being generated and poorly managed around the country firsthand. Spurred to action, he started O-Town Compost as a community composter, in East Orlando, to give neighbors a sustainable option for their waste. With the help of our valued subscribers, O-Town Compost hopes to expand its offerings, ultimately making Central Florida a hub of sustainability in the United States. After a year, O-Town Compost has expanded to servicing most of Orange and Seminole Counties with 175 subscribers and diverting 2 tons of food waste every week. The Orlando community has responded!

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Composters

Seedleaf nourishing communities @seedleaflex www.seedleaf.org

In 2007, a group of friends cultivated a successful community garden on the North side of Lexington, Kentucky. We agreed that with some structure and planning, this could be replicated in other neighborhoods. So we filed papers and came to be incorporated as a charitable nonprofit. We grew 3 gardens in 2008, 10 gardens in 2009, and have grown steadily since that time. Overtime, we have refined our organization’s missions to match the specific needs we saw in the communities that we serve. Today, we see ourselves as a community gardening organization that provides horticultural training and supports the practice of gardening and small-scale farming in urban space. We value the ongoing re-connection of people to land, the incubation of healthy community interdependence and the cultivation of growers to support a robust local food economy and a just and equitable system of stewardship over urban land. Central to our work as gardeners is our job to restore the health and wellbeing of our physical environmental landscapes, principally the soils that we work with. Seedleaf began a composting program with 35 restaurants and kitchens called the Compost Partners Program that ran from 2009-2019 and initiated a home pick-up program called Compost Carpool that ran from 2016- March 2020. We were supported in this work by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government’s Division of Waste Management. Much of the food waste composted was used at our community gardens or redistributed to the public for $1 a gallon. In 2019, we diverted over 41,118 gallons (a whopping 1,027,950 lbs) of food and paper scraps from landfills and turned it into nutrient rich soil amendment.

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All photographies: Bootscrap Productions Mathew Ray Photography

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Composters

Wilmington Compost Company @wilmingtoncompostcompany www.wilmingtoncompostcompany.com

We are a grassroots one stop shop community compost hauler and processor, who understands the important connection between a healthy environment and a healthy community. By diverting food and compostable waste from the residential, commercial, and school sectors in the coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina we strive to close the loop in our community. The grass roots movement of Wilmington Compost Company traces back to the days Riley Alber spent as a boy wandering the woods of Southern New Jersey, fascinated with the wonders of the Pine Barrens and blessed with a proximity to the Atlantic. Growing up in the Garden State, surrounded by forest, farmland, and water, Riley’s childhood provided a unique balance of outdoor influences that constantly drew him outside of the house into nature. We work hand in hand with local farmers, gardeners, and soil enthusiasts. As a one stop compost service provider we work passionately on both ends to help folks transition away from plastics and polystyrene to more eco-friendly packaging while guaranteeing these very materials see the proper intended end of life, COMPOST. After materials are processed, the compost is returned to the fields and gardens to regenerate local soils and beyond. From the farm down the street, to the local restaurant around the corner, then back to the farm to grow next year’s harvest. We believe healthy soil is the foundation to a healthy community and food network. As composters, farmers, and outdoor enthusiasts we have learned a lot over the years about the intricate connections between our well-being and the earth. That is why we believe in clean air, clean water, and healthy soil today and for future generations to utilize and enjoy.

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Pacific Juneau Composts!

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Composters

Juneau Composts! @juneaucomposts www.juneaucomposts.com

Juneau Composts is a small hauler/processor operation in the temperate rainforest of Southeast Alaska. They have collected over 480,000 pounds of compostable material since 2017. They operate a facility on 1/2 acre in Juneau, using a combination of hand tools and a front end loader to process materials in a combination of covered bays and windrows. In a community with a recycle rate of 6%, their compost service is poised to launch the community into the waste-to-wealth movement. They actively engage in community education programs, from social media, to group visits and workshops, to hands-on classes on home composting. They have consulted with people across Alaska and have helped spark other communities to join the compost club. They are working to create an awareness of the circular economy and build opportunities for growing local food in a place with very little soil suitable for agriculture. In 2019 they expanded and opened The Compost Yard, which hosts a yard debris and food scrap dropoff program. Hardly a compost collection day goes by without someone in the streets thanking them for bringing composting to the community! “Your mom might say we’re trash collectors. We think we’re magicians. We collect large amounts of kitchen scraps, hook ‘em up with our thermophilic microorganisms, and let them have a party. Then we deliver rich, earthy-smelling goodness to gardens.” 2020 Impact: 224,364 lbs Diverted 370 Customers

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Composters

Canada Compost Corner

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Composters

Compost Corner @compost_corner_pa www.compostcorner.ca

As someone who grew up on a farm and had composted her whole life, it was a surprise that when I moved to the City, that people didn’t know what composting was or how to do it! It just felt wrong to throw that banana peel in the garbage when it could be providing great nutrients back to the soil. It has always made sense to me that when we take something out of the soil (cut the grass, eat the vegetable, rake up the leaves) that we need to put it back somehow, so we are not just taking, without returning the favor. Fast forward a few years and a Permaculture Design Course later I knew that it was my mission in life to help people to compost. So with the help of a friend at Fox Hill Gardens in Prince Albert, in May of 2017, the Compost Corner began. Shortly after, we started a weekly pick-up service for those in the City. The reason I am so passionate about Composting is that Compost improves soil, and with better soil, we can grow healthier food, and with healthier food, we have healthier people, and with healthier people, we have healthier communities. I saw that people wanted to make environmentally friendly choices but didn’t have the time, the know-how, or space to do it so I saw an opportunity to help. I think Composting will make the world a better place so I want to make sure everyone who wants to can do it!

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2020 Impact

2020 IM 14,450,000 LBS

TOTAL DIVERTED

6,819

TOTAL RESIDENT A ESTABLISHMENTS

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2020 Impact

MPACT

D FROM LANDFILL

AND COMMERCIAL TS COMPOSTING Even through the pandemic composting continued to grow. These are exciting numbers as the positive impact we are having on our planet is significant. Composting continues to grow, and I invite you to join us in the composting revolution. As you have seen through this book composting is readily available in many of our communities. We hope this book has inspired you to start composting or to follow in the footsteps of the leaders showcased in this book. If you are interested in starting your own community composting program, please reach out to us and we are happy to help you on your path.

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Throughout the pages in this book, we have showcased a faction of the community composters across the continent. Each of the companies in this book were started from the need of our communities to provide zero waste solutions. Composting is a simple way for us to get involved and practice daily “eco- habits”. Through composting in your home or work place you will feel the immediate impact Zero Waste has in our daily life’s. We hope through these entrepreneurs stories you are inspired to do a little bit extra for our planet and start composting today!


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