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Community Hero: Curbside 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 Curbside Compost!

Curbside Compost is a program that picks up food scraps and delivers compost with a focus on the Fairfield and Westchester County communities in Connecticut. BioBag Associate Michael Downss spoke to Nick Skeadas of Curbside Compost about his organization. Their interview is transcribed below.

What led you to start your composting operation?

Nick: We just thought that we really needed to do this service here in this market. Composting wasn’t being offered, and we wanted to get the food scraps out of the waste stream.

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

Nick: People can reach out to us at curbcompost.org, email us at info@curbcompost.org or call my cell phone at 914-646-6890. These are the best ways to get in touch with us. A list of communities served for residential collection can be found on the home page of the website. Commercial tote service is also available.

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

Nick: We take in about 4,500 lbs. of organic material a week. 

Please give us one fun fact about your business.

Nick: One 32-gallon toter full of fish weighs 190 pounds!

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

 


Community Hero: O-Town 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 O-Town Compost!

O-Town Compost’s mission is to become a key component of the City of Orlando’s waste diversion infrastructure to help the city meet its zero-waste goals. O-Town Compost founder Charlie Pioli comes from a career in solid waste/recycling consulting and started O-Town Compost to give neighbors in East Orlando a sustainable option for their waste. BioBag Associate Michael Downss spoke to Charlie about his organization. Their interview is transcribed below.

What led you to start your composting operation?

Charlie: [O-Town Compost started] after spending 3+ years as a solid waste and recycling consultant based in Orlando, FL. During this time, I experienced how our country’s solid waste infrastructure works, and I’m disenchanted with how wasteful we are. In my opinion, even the standard recycling of paper, bottles, and cans lacks true environmental benefit. I was introduced to community composting while attending college in Boston, MA and subscribing to Bootstrap Compost. I carried that business model throughout my short career as a consultant and decided to put it into action here in Orlando. 

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

Charlie: We serve residential subscribers, offices and small commercial clients, and do events. Additionally, we started a new service targeting local horse stables and farmers to help them manage their manure or byproducts. Go to www.o-towncompost.com for more info on all our services.

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

Charlie: Anywhere from 1,300-1,500 pounds. 

Please give us one fun fact about your business.

Charlie: I like to take my dog, Ginger, on my residential routes with me. She loves sticking her head out the window for car rides, and I’ve nicknamed the service “Duber.” 

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

 


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.


New Resealable Products from BioBag!

BioBag Resealable Snack and Gallon Bags

Introducing Compostable Resealable Bags
in Snack & Gallon Sizes!

 

In 2013, BioBag introduced compostable food storage and sandwich resealable bags. Now, we are proud to announce that we are expanding our resealable product line to include snack-size and gallon-size resealable bags! Like all of our other products, these bags are made from the material Mater-Bi®.

BioBag Resealable Snack Bags are ideal for taking snacks on the go. These bags are convenient for lunches or sorting portions at home. BioBag Resealable Gallon Bags are the largest in our resealable product line and are perfect for traveling, storing leftovers, and a variety of other in-home and on-the-go uses. Both bags are zip tight and great for storing all types of food.

When finished, users can discard the snack and gallon bags with other compost waste. BioBag Snack and Gallon Bags compost right along with other organic waste in a municipal compost facility to create nutrient-rich soil – even the zippers are compostable!

More Wonderful Benefits:

  • Certified Compostable* in a municipal compostable setting
  • Meets ASTM D6400
  • BPA Free – Made without plasticizers or other additives that may be transferred to the food
  • Great alternative to polyethylene-based plastic sandwich and storage bags
  • Prevents and restricts the contents’ exposure to moisture and oxygen
  • Good for all kinds of foods, including those with high fat and acid content
  • Made from GMO Free crops

We are excited to be able to add these new sizes to our line of compostable products, and we hope you’re excited to give them a try!

For wholesale case orders, please contact us directly at info@biobagusa.com.

*Appropriate facilities may not exist in your area. To find a municipal composting facility, visit findacomposter.com. May not be suitable for home composting depending on your composting method. 

 


BioBag Announces New Non-GMO Project Verification

BioBag, a world leader in providing bags for the collection of organic waste for the purpose of composting, is proud to announce that the company’s 3 Gallon Food Scrap Bags and 13 Gallon Food Scrap Bags have been Non-GMO Project Verified. The company is also in the process of verifying their compostable commercial liners and produce bags.

“BioBag makes compostable bags from a resin based on agriculture resources, including corn, which is a focal point of our logo and something we get asked about frequently. This verification by the Non-GMO Project is important to us to showcase to our customers our commitment to sourcing and supporting non-GMO crops,” said Jennifer Pope, Vice President of Marketing for BioBag.

The Non-GMO Project is the leading third-party non-GMO verification system in the United States. Products must meet strict criteria for GMO avoidance to achieve verification. Even though BioBag is an international company, and their products have established third-party non-GMO verification from international sources since the company’s inception in the early 2000’s, they knew how essential it would be to the U.S. market to meet the Non-GMO Project Standard.

“The verification label is predominantly seen on consumable food products, but we went the extra mile to certify our non-food products to align with consumer preferences and natural food retailer initiatives for non-GMO here in the U.S.,” said Pope. “It was a rigorous process for us and our supplier, but we are excited now to have the butterfly adorn our products.”

The announcement from BioBag Americas coincides with the 8th annual celebration of Non-GMO Month in October. The Non-GMO Project butterfly is the fastest-growing label in the natural products industry and represents more than 40,000 verified products. The butterfly will begin to appear on BioBag’s packaging and marketing materials in the coming months alongside their other notable certifications by the Biodegradable Product Institute for municipal compostability and Vincotte’s OK Compost Home for home compostability. Earning all three badges propels BioBag to further leadership status within their category.

About BioBag Americas, Inc.

BioBag is a world leader in providing bags and films for the collection of organic waste for the purpose of composting. Its mission is to keep organic waste from ever entering a landfill. Unlike regular plastic bags, BioBags are made from a resin derived from plants, vegetable oils, and compostable polymers and can be consumed by micro-organisms that live in our soils. Because of this, BioBags compost readily along with organic waste at municipal composting facilities. BioBag is not a large, petroleum-based, plastic bag manufacturer that now conveniently dabbles in the new world of compostable bags. BioBag is a small company of dedicated employees who are fully committed to only producing certified compostable bags and films. Additional information can be found at www.biobagusa.com.

About the Non-GMO Project

www.nongmoproject.org


Swedish Strawberry Producer Uses BioAgri* Compostable Film

*BioBag Agricultural Film is sold under the name “BioAgri” in European markets and “BioBag Ag Film” in North American markets.

Peter Löfvenholm from BioBag and Ola Svensson from Finnerödja
inspect the BioAgri film three months after planting. 

Swedish strawberry producer Finnerödja recently chose to test BioAgri – a compostable and biodegradable alternative to traditional agricultural mulch film. After one year, Finnerödja concluded the addition of BioAgri was a success, and they are looking forward to using the compostable films again during the upcoming season.

Sustainable Agriculture with BioAgri Compostable Films

With a desire to achieve more sustainable agriculture, the Swedish strawberry producer Finnerödja tested the compostable mulch film BioAgri. The characteristics of BioAgri mulch film are the same as in conventional PE plastics, but the difference is that BioAgri can be tilled into the soil when crops are harvested. BioAgri does not require the inconvenience and high cost of removal and disposal of the agricultural film, which is unavoidable with traditional PE plastic. By using BioAgri, farmers can also avoid plastic residues in the field and, at the same time, help to ensure a healthier environment. BioAgri degrades via microorganisms found naturally in the soil.

The main reason for Finneröjda to test BioAgri in their strawberry fields was to avoid the problems that come with the remains of conventional plastic films leftover in the ground. “The idea is that we avoid the handling and disposal of traditional plastics, which have been both expensive and time consuming for us,” says Ola Svensson from Finnerödja. Statements from a selection of strawberry growers show that it usually costs about $2000 per hectare for the disposal of traditional plastic films.

The Same Qualities as Traditional Film

BioAgri comes in different thicknesses to fit different cycles. Finnerödja wanted the film to break down early so strawberry cuttings could grow up next to the main plant. Svensson expects to experiment with a thinner film in the coming year and says there are not many other certified compostable films on the market that could support a 1-3 year old plant.

Finnerödja strawberry field with BioAgri, six months after planting

“Other films have poorer mechanical properties and are not certified as compostable in soil, and that makes BioBag BioAgri agricultural mulch film work perfectly, especially for strawberries.” He continues, “The main advantage with BioAgri is that it is certified compostable and biodegradable in soil, and it gives no soil contamination. It is also a great advantage that there is no additional cost for the removal of the film, as it is simply plowed into the ground.”

Laying BioAgri Agricultural Film

Laying BioAgri agricultural mulch film is done with the same equipment as used for conventional PE plastic mulch film. “We had no problems when laying the mulch film with our standard equipment. What you should remember is to be a little more careful so you do not stretch the film too much, as the material is made of natural raw materials,” says Svensson.

Environment

“As an example, 8 years ago we had to prepare a field for cultivation. As we began to plow the land, we found old traditional PE plastic in the soil, which was still there after eight years,” Svensson describes. “I recommend everyone use the product, especially those who are leasing land. It will leave the soil in good condition.”

Facts About Finnerödja

For over 50 years, Finnerödja has been producing strawberries. In 1987, they were taken over by OspAB Finnerödja Bär AB. Today, Finnerödja is a business in Olle Svensson Partiaffär AB and handles about 3.5 million liters of fresh strawberries each year. The strawberry grower company Purple Rösjö Farm AB grows strawberries on 43 hectares and sells the entire crop to Finnerödja and Olle Svensson Partiaffär AB.

About BioAgri Agricultural Film

BioAgri agricultural film, compared to traditional plastic film:

  • Biodegradable in soil
  • Customized life span, tailored for different crops
  • No removal necessary
  • No disposal costs
  • No residues in the field
  • Faster access to the field
  • Certified for organic farming
  • An efficient alternative, in both agronomic and environmental terms to traditional plastic film
  • Saves time and therefore costs required to remove and dispose of traditional plastic film
  • Offers a family of grades fit for purpose