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Community Hero: Black Earth Compost

Welcome to BioBag’s Community Heroes series! Each month, we will highlight community heroes that are making a difference in their communities and working to make their local environments cleaner and healthier.

This month, we are taking a look at Black Earth Compost!

 

Black Earth Compost was founded in January 2011, in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Originally a one man, one truck company, it has steadily grown to become the leading full service compost company in New England. Black Earth Compost is dedicated to collecting food scraps from residents, schools, supermarkets, colleges, and more. They then return the compost they create to consumers, selling it in garden centers across Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. BioBag Associate Michael Downss spoke to Conor Miller, founder of Black Earth Compost. Their interview is transcribed below.

What led you to start your composting operation?

Conor: I lived in Seattle and had curbside compost and thought this should be in MA because composting is important for reducing waste and growing food.

Conor Miller (left) of Black Earth Compost

Conor Miller (left) of Black Earth Compost

Who do you serve, and how can people get in touch with you if they want to start composting?

Conor: We serve eastern MA commercial stops and residents. They can sign up on our website.

How much organic material do you typically take in on a weekly basis?

Conor: We collect about 180 tons/week.

Please give us one fun fact about your business.

Conor: We invented and build our own toter lifts and [currently have] 18 trucks, probably three times more organics trucks than any other company in New England.

Black Earth Compost Truck

If you would like to be featured in a future edition of Community Heroes, please email us at marketing@biobagusa.com.

 


BioBag Announced as a Finalist in the 2020 Sustainable Business Awards

We are proud to announce that we have been selected as a finalist for The Sustany Foundation’s 2020 Sustainable Business Awards! 

Founded in 2007, The Sustany Foundation is dedicated to advancing sustainability initiatives in the Tampa Bay region and has served as the leading resource for the sustainable business community for over a decade. The Sustainable Business Awards are The Sustany Foundation’s hallmark event and honor companies and organizations in the Tampa Bay area that embrace the three pillars of the triple bottom line; people (social impact), planet (environmental impact) and profit (economic impact and governance).

Criteria for each pillar is as follows:

  • People (Social Impact): Is a good citizen of Tampa Bay and the world through fair and beneficial business practices for employees, community and supply chain
  • Planet (Environmental Impact): Contributes to the environmental health of Tampa Bay through sustainable environmental practices
  • Profit (Economic Impact & Governance): Committed to good governance. Provides a positive economic impact in the Tampa Bay community while aligning sustainability values throughout the organization

Each January, the public is invited to nominate local businesses and organizations that are leading the way in sustainable practices. “This is the second year we received over 100 nominations from the open call,” said Andrea Cheney, President of the Sustany Foundation, “we are thrilled to see so many companies in the Tampa Bay area integrating sustainability into their operations.”

Winners will be announced live on September 16th at the 12th Annual Sustainable Business Awards Green Carpet Gala at the historic Tampa Theatre. The event is open to the public and draws a packed house of sustainability professionals, business leaders, government officials, academia, non-profits, and like-minded community organizations and individuals. Since 2008, more than 120 businesses have received the Sustainable Business Award for their commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship. We hope to be among them this September!

To read The Sustany Foundation’s complete press release regarding the Sustainable Business awards, please click here. Thank you to everyone in the Tampa Bay region and beyond for your support! Wish us luck! 


Community Hero: Pinellas Community Compost

Welcome to BioBag’s Community Heroes series! Each month, we will highlight community heroes that are making a difference in their communities and working to make their local environments cleaner and healthier.

This month, we are taking a look at Pinellas Community Compost!

Pinellas Community Compost is a small company located in Pinellas County, Florida, that offers composting education, consultations for home, gardens, and businesses, and assists with food systems projects, including gardening and food recovery. BioBag Associate Michael Downss spoke to Amanda Streets, founder of Pinellas Community Compost. Their interview is transcribed below.

What led you to start your composting operation?

Amanda: Our goal is to provide a number of ways for our community to interact positively with composting so that it can become a normal way for everyone to handle our food scraps and yard waste. We were inspired to teach composting as a way to divert waste from the landfill and decrease greenhouse gases. 

Who do you serve, and how can people get in touch with you if they want to start composting?

Amanda: We help individuals, community gardens, and school groups learn to compost, and assist institutions to implement campus-wide composting initiatives. Our website is pinellascommunitycompost.com, and we can be reached via email amanda@pinellascommunitycompost.com or phone, 727-488-9750. 

How much organic material do you typically take in on a weekly basis?

Amanda: Pinellas Community Compost facilitates an occasional low waste event, but we don’t have a regular stream of organic materials at this time. Our clients and participants do make compost though.

One of our projects, Creating a Regenerative Community Food System, with Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, diverts about 200 pounds of food scraps from the landfill weekly. One of the institutions that we support composts about 1,000 pounds of food scraps weekly. We are working to promote composting in the community by teaching classes. Since we opened in 2018, we have taught over 80 composting classes

Please give us one fun fact about your business.

Amanda: Our tagline is changing the habits of a generation. I’m a former educator who believes that teaching young people about sustainability and using resources responsibly is very important. We prioritize visiting schools and teaching family-friendly classes.

If you would like to be featured in a future edition of Community Heroes, please email us at marketing@biobagusa.com.

 


Community Hero: Rust Belt Riders

Welcome to BioBag’s new Community Heroes series! Each month, we will highlight community heroes that are making a difference in their communities and working to make their local environments cleaner and healthier.

This month, we are taking a look at the Rust Belt Riders!

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 food waste. Their services include commercial hauling, educational workshops, zero-waste events, and – coming soon – residential services. BioBag Associate Michael Downss spoke to Daniel Brown, co-founder of Rust Belt Riders. Their interview is transcribed below.

What led you to start your composting operation?

Daniel: Founded in 2014 by Michael Robinson and Daniel Brown, Rust Belt Riders began after toiling for more than two years on a pretty typical urban garden. The soil was highly compacted, denuded of nutrients, and this made growing herbs and vegetables a difficult proposition. When we weren’t working on the garden, our nights and weekends were spent at a farm-to-table restaurant. There, we saw how even businesses with the best intentions did not have a viable alternative to landfills for food waste. After raising some funds from friends and family members, Rust Belt Riders was born.

Who do you serve, and how can people get in touch with you if they want to start composting?

Daniel: Rust Belt Riders serves businesses, organizations, and individuals all over Northeast Ohio. Clients can get in touch with us online, over social media, and regularly at community events and farmers markets where we are very active. Reach out to us today to start the conversation! 

How much organic material do you typically take in on a weekly basis?

Daniel: We collect around 50,000 pounds of food waste each and every week. 

Please give us one fun fact about your business.

Daniel: For nearly the first year of our existence, all the food scraps we collected were collected by bicycle with a custom-made trailer attached to the back of it.

If you would like to be featured in a future edition of Community Heroes, please email us at marketing@biobagusa.com.


Community Hero: Bootstrap Compost

Welcome to BioBag’s new Community Heroes series! Each month, we will highlight community heroes that are making a difference in their communities and working to make their local environments cleaner and healthier. This month, we begin with our friends at Bootstrap Compost!

Team Bootstrap

Bootstrap Compost is a leading compost pickup service operating throughout the Boston and Providence areas. As of today, their team has composted 5,252,959 pounds of organic material and counting! BioBag Associate Michael Downss spoke to Jonathan Nankof, the Director of Operations at Bootstrap Compost. Their interview is transcribed below.

What led you to start your composting operation?

Jonathan: Andy Brooks, one of our co-founders, was inspired to start what is now Bootstrap Compost in 2011 after he noticed that compost pick-up services existed in other regions, like in Vermont, but were completely absent in Boston. He wanted to make a difference in his community, and Bootstrap was born. Just under 10 years later, we know we are definitely changing the way the Greater Boston area deals with food waste. 

Who do you serve, and how can people get in touch with you if they want to start composting?

Jonathan: If you’re interested in getting started with Bootstrap, check out our website. There, you’ll be able to learn about everything we offer and you can tailor your pick-up schedule to your needs!

If you click on the “Services” tab at the top of our home page, you can select whatever type of compost pick-up you need: residential, office, restaurant, or even event if you only require a one-time bulk pick-up! From there you can select the frequency (either weekly or bi-weekly) and the quantity of your ideal pick-up. It might be tough to know exactly how much you will need right away, so you can add or remove buckets at any time.

Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions, and we can get you into our delivery system right away. 

How much organic material do you typically take in on a weekly basis?

Jonathan: This January we diverted approximately 40,600 lbs of food waste from landfills each week! This waste is pulled from over 2,200 residential and 280 commercial accounts on a weekly basis. 

Please give us one fun fact about your business.

Jonathan: At Bootstrap we take pride in doing everything by hand! This includes manually dumping all of our collected food waste at our partner farms and hand washing and stenciling our own buckets. Our dedication to doing everything the right way started at the very beginning, when we relied on bikes with trailers to do our first compost pick-ups.

If you would like to be featured in a future edition of Community Heroes, please email us at marketing@biobagusa.com.


Grassroots Community Composters Gaining Momentum to Combat Climate Change

Community groups are taking action against global warming by collecting household food scraps and other organic waste for composting. Instead of dumping organic waste into landfills where it creates greenhouse gases, they are turning ‘waste’ into a resource to rejuvenate our soils through compost. To collect the waste, many people use compostable bags such as BioBag.

Food composting curbside collection programs served only 3.8 million of US households in 2015 according to US EPA, or 3% of 124.6 million US households. By 2017, less than 2% of US communities had municipally-backed food waste collection services according to Biocycle, a waste industry magazine. Yet, food loss and waste accounted for 8.2% of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 10% from road transport in a 2012 report by the World Resources Institute.

Bottom line: household organic waste in landfills is a major contributor to global warming. Instead grassroots organizations are turning the waste into compost to reduce methane emissions from landfills and enrich the soil according to the US EPA.

A group of people stand near a compost pile at Earth Matter NY
Composting at Earth Matter NY

Bootstrap Compost’s cyclists and drivers divert thousands of pounds of organic waste from landfills in the Greater Boston area weekly, and they have composted 3,640,737 lbs. of organic waste so far.

Common Ground/ Reclaimed Organics is a compost collection service for lower Manhattan residents & businesses, bringing food scraps by bike to local community gardens for composting. They process 1,500 lbs a month.

Compost Crusader in Milwaukee paved the way for municipal action. They got a city contract to provide collection services for an Organics Collection Pilot Study which diverted 358,000 pounds of organic waste from the landfill in the first year.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) provides an interactive Composting for Community Map of local composting services.

Earth Matter NY is a non-profit organization advancing composting in-and-around New York City. They compost 28,000 lbs. of food scraps monthly. Their Compost Learning Center on Governor’s Island teaches composting helped with funding by the NYC Department of Sanitation and smaller sponsors like BioBag, the compostable bag manufacturer. Earth Matter and BioBag made a series of videos showing how people use compostable bags, as an alternative to plastic.

A collection of compostable BioBags are filled with food scraps.

“We applaud the ‘bucket brigades’ and educators like Earth Matter,” says Jennifer Pope, VP Marketing at BioBag. “It’s a win-win. More people help the environment, learn the value of composting and are educated in how our compostable bags can be used to collect organic waste and compost more.”

Both Earth Matter and BioBag support the increasingly popular National Cultivating Community Composting Forum, May 11-14, 2019 in New York City. It will share best practices and build support for the composting movement.

BioBag logo

BioBag is the world’s largest manufacturer of compostable bags and films, made in the USA! Their liners have the highest renewable content in the industry. Unlike most other brands, BioBags are 3rd party certified home compostable and Non-GMO project verified.


Introducing a New, Refreshed BioBag Logo!

BioBag Americas, Inc. has launched a new company logo for the first time since its inception in 2002. The fresh design better reflects the direction of both the BioBag brand and the evolving world towards the improvement of recycling systems and initiatives to do better and do more with current resources.

The original logo, developed in the 1990s when the BioBag brand began, included an ear of corn because cornstarch was the major component of compostable bag and film technology at that time. With the updated logo, BioBag strives to stay authentic to their original branding elements while reflecting the fact that resin technology, used to create BioBag products, has since evolved to include a variety of crops.

The yellow segment of the ellipse in the new logo symbolizes the rising sun bringing life and growth to our earth, crops and soils. The faint arrow design symbolizes the circular economy in which waste, specifically organic waste, gets repurposed through composting and soil rejuvenation.

“The corn in our original logo was a visual representation of what made our compostable products different than traditional plastic products,” said Jennifer Pope, VP of Marketing. “A logo is one of the most important aspects of your brand identity, and brands need to evolve with the times, technology and consumer desires. Our refreshed logo mirrors what is happening in the world today and in our future with focusing on the importance of circling our current resources back into our world. The new logo embodies our products’ purpose and mission. We want our customers to know that the logo is just a visual refresh, but our products are the same ones you have come to trust and love.”

Consumers can look for all BioBag subsidiaries to refresh branding components and products with the updated logo in the coming months.