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Community Hero: Neighborhood 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 the Neighborhood Compost!

Neighborhood Compost is a woman-owned residential and commercial compost pickup service, circular home shop, and regenerative farm rooted in New Jersey. Neighborhood Compost’s CEO, Adison Evans, who is a Grammy-award-winning musician and former saxophonist to stars like Beyonce and JayZ, cultivated the company in 2020 utilizing her family farm.

Check out our interview below with Adison to find out more!

What led you to start your composting operation?

Adison: Having grown up around farms in the area, I witnessed firsthand the amount of food that was going to waste due to disrupted distribution chains at the onset of the pandemic. When food could’ve been used to feed communities, livestock, or even composted, it was going to landfill instead. I made it my goal to divert as much waste as possible from landfill.

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

Adison: We service houses, apartment buildings, and townhouse communities in Hudson County, Bergen County, Morris County, Northern Somerset, Passaic, and Hunterdon Counties, New Jersey. Check out https://www.neighborhoodcompost.com/residential-plans to sign up!

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

Adison: Neighborhood Compost consistently rescues 1-2 tons of organic matter per week. The food scraps are used as feedstock for the many animals on their farm that all play a role in the circular ecosystem including goats, chickens, alpacas, and sheep. The remaining scraps are composted. Finished compost nourishes the farm’s soil and cultivates healthy crops for the Garden State’s communities.

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

Adison: Not only is Neighborhood Compost the solution for composting organics in New Jersey, from commercial kitchens to event venues to municipalities, but they host several volunteer opportunities and family fun events on their farm, like this Saturday’s goat yoga class!

“We are proud to successfully close the loop between food disposal and cultivation all while educating our communities on reducing food waste, regenerative agriculture, and fostering a rich culture of community and sustainability at work and home.” -Adison Evans

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


Community Hero: Compost Collective KC

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 the Compost Collective KC!

Compost Collective KC is a small group of caring citizens who want to make composting easy for you and keep food out of landfills!

Check out our interview below with Coco, Director of Operations to find out more!

What led you to start your composting operation?

Coco: CCKC was created in 2017 through frustration with the lack of environmental concern from our nation’s leaders, and came together through the hard work of a small group of caring citizens wanting to provide easy access to food waste recycling for the KC community.

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

Coco: We serve the greater KC Metro and surrounding areas. People can sign up for our service (and view our service area map) on our website here.

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

Coco: We are processing approximately 20,000lbs of compostable waste every week.

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

Coco: Compost Collective KC is partnered with a beautiful 14 acre urban farm/homestead called Urbavore Urban Farm that uses sustainable agriculture methods and off-grid practices including no-till farming, solar panel powering, water recycling from their ponds, etc. We love working alongside such an important community farm!

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


Community Hero: Four Hands for Healing Light

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 the Four Hands for Healing Light!

Four Hands for Healing Light a small homestead serving the greater Albuquerque area through Railyards Farmers Market Albuquerque and Mile High Farmers Market Albuquerque. Their compost pile consumes about 1 ton of waste annually, keeping organic material from ending up in a landfill. And use hot composting methods to heat their (upcycled material built) greenhouse!

Check out our interview below with William Zamora to find out more!

What led you to start your composting operation?

Zamora: We began our composting adventure in 2016 when we began a garden that did so well we had extra to give to friends and family and finally to keep from throwing food out selling at a farmers market. We already had 3 chickens and I am a homebrewer of ales and wines so I always had left over yeast cakes and organic matter for composting.

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

Zamora: We serve the greater Albuquerque area through Railyards farmers market Albuquerque and Mile High farmers market Albuquerque. We can be found at both markets on Sunday mornings during their seasons or contact us directly @fourhandsofhealinglight (Instagram)

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

Zamora: Our small homestead produces hundreds of pounds of compostable organic matter during our heavy composting months mostly in fall but is sustained to some measure all year. 

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

Zamora: Our off season income is based on creating hand crafted jewelry (William) and chainsaw wood carvings (Rebekah) all inspired by nature and our love for connecting people with food and flowers. 

Feel free to add any additional information about your operation as you see fit.

Both of us have a long heritage of agriculture and were raised creating with our hands and tending trees plants and veggies. We are proud to be the next generation of growers that have given our time in stewardship of the soil.

We also use an active composting break down effect directly in the soil called Hügelkultur. This is an ancient water saving technique developed independently in Germany and here in the Southwest where water is scarce. It essentially consists of burying wood or cactus or other organics like fresh moss. Then allowing them to break down directly in the soil. There are several way to achieve this some folks use whole logs and some folks use mulch. Some folks dig into the soil and create “forest floor” or “lasagna layer” some folks build upward “humped” or “high” rows on top of solid bedrock. We have done both and have the pictures and videos to confirm the success of the practice. We are just regular folks but we can both steer industry and heal the earth mother. 

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


Community Hero: Tidewater 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 the Tidewater Compost!

Tidewater Compost launched our initiative and collection routes in mid June of 2022. Tidewater Compost co-owners Keith Jaffee and Cameron Kania have been best friends since they were young boys at Baylake Pines School. Both born and raised here in Virginia Beach, each traveled extensively in their young adulthoods. Their individual experiences traveling and appreciating other cultures and geographies fostered a mutual connection to nature and our planet. Together, Jaffee and Kania transformed their passion into a mission and business to protect the environment.

Check out our interview below with Cameron Kania to find out more!

What led you to start your composting operation?

Cameron: “We began to research and contact other composters throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, and someone recommended that we watch the ‘Kiss the Ground’ documentary,” said Kania. Narrated by actor Woody Harrelson and available to watch on Netflix, “Kiss the Ground” features scientists and celebrity environmental activists addressing how our soil may be the key to combating climate change. Kania explained, “As the credits of the film disappeared from the screen, Tidewater Compost was born.”

We launched our initiative and collection routes in mid June of 2022.  Also, please reference the “About” tab on our website, for some additional background into “How” and “Why” we started Tidewater Compost. 

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

Cameron: Based out of Virginia Beach, VA – we now service over 120 members located throughout parts of Hampton Roads (currently servicing members in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth). We provide weekly residential and commercial pickup services to the greater Hampton Roads area. Born and raised in Hampton Roads, our ultimate goal is to make composting accessible and affordable to everyone in our local communities. If people are interested in signing up for our services, they can simply visit our website and fill out our submission/sign up form to get started. 

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

Cameron: We now collect ~ 1,250 lbs. of materials each week and have diverted nearly 40,000 lbs. of materials since our launch date.

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

Cameron: “I’m a financial analyst in the mortgage industry by trade,” explained Kania. “However, my passion lives in gardening and building soil.” His home garden is his haven, and he has enjoyed the fruits of his labor, tangibly and figuratively, for many years.

Jaffee has worked in the produce distribution and restaurant industries for several years. He is also an avid outdoorsman and can be found camping in the mountains or trail running through First Landing State Park on weekends with his pup, Jerry.

Feel free to add any additional information about your operation as you see fit.

In his work, Jaffee sees firsthand the amount of food waste that is generated. At around 80 billion pounds yearly, the United States leads the world in the amount of food discarded by one country. That breaks down to about 220 pounds of food scraps per person thrown out with our garbage, visually about the amount of 650 apples. According to Recycle Track System® (RTS), food is the single largest component of U.S. landfills, making up 22 percent of municipal solid waste.

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


Community Hero: Office of Sustainability at Georgia College & State University

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 the Office of Sustainability at Georgia College & State University!

OOS at GA College makes it simple and convenient for students, faculty, and staff to participate in the various campus recycling programs. That’s why Georgia College implemented a food organics composting program in 2017 with the help of OSS. Using grant funds from the Sustainability Fee Program, GC purchased a 6 cubic yard in-vessel composting machine and constructed a dedicated composting site to divert campus-generated food waste from the landfill. With greater awareness of the environmental challenges that affect us locally and globally, Georgia College has renewed its commitment to taking stock of its own environmental impact and exploring ways in which the university community can enhance the environmental of our campus.

Check out our interview below with Anna Lippy, GA College Compost Intern with OOS to find out more!

What led you to start your composting operation?

Lippy: Our campus compost program started in a professor’s backyard as an assignment for a Soil and Environmental Quality course. The assignment involved making a greenhouse for a community project, and students were inspired to have a small compost system at the greenhouse. Then, this interest further drove students to draft a proposal for a campus compost machine in 2016. Since then, we have diverted over 60,000 pounds of food from our dining hall that otherwise would have been sent to the landfill.

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

Lippy: We collect the food waste from our university dining services from both back and front of house. This includes the pre-consumer waste, which is the excess food that isn’t served to students, and post-consumer waste, which is the food that gets scraped off students’ plates. The compost we produce is then used in our organic campus garden where students can learn about organic farming practices and community members can rent out garden beds. Currently, one of our interns is working on creating a business plan for selling our finished compost material to local farmers and gardeners as her senior capstone project.

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

Lippy: Our team accepts about 1,000 pounds of food waste each week.

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

Lippy: Our program is heavily student led; it was created from student interest and continues to be sustained through student involvement. We listen to Shakira in the work truck on the way to and from the compost site.

Feel free to add any additional information about your operation as you see fit.

Lippy: We add locally sourced, untreated saw dust and woodchips to our food residuals to get a balanced carbon to nitrogen ratio. Our compost is used in campus research labs.

 

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


Community Hero: Naples 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 Naples Compost!

Naples Compost was founded by Hannah Rinaldi in 2018 and launched its service offerings to the Naples area on Earth Day! Naples Compost recently added pet waste collection and composting to their residential food scrap composting service making them a comPOOsting pioneer! 

What led you to start your composting operation?

We are routinely asked, “Why should I compost?” In fact, this is a top ranking question on many search engines. When faced with this question, Naples Compost founder, Hannah Rinaldi, likes to show a picture of her three children and simply say, “This is why. . . for our and their future.” Like the Lorax said, “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

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

Southwest FL community

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

We are now offering POO POO BUCKET! We will offer the same bucket swap but now for your dog’s or cat’s waste. We offer an add on service for our already existing customers and a separate service for those that just want to compost their pets waste. This is a weekly pick-up with a clean bucket left every pick up using a 3 gallon bucket. You also get finish compost retuned once a year. Poo scooping service introduced soon (POO POO SCOOPET).

 

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


Community Hero: Big River Organics

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 Big River Organics!

Big River Organics was founded by Sue Krause, who plays many roles in her small town. She picks up and compost food waste from many different places in their town, including their small rural school. She also teaches the kids from Lancaster, Wisconsin about compost and worm farming.

She loves her dog Newt, who plays at the Cassville dog park where they use BioBag pet waste bags at the dog park. She composts the waste from the park, which they return to flower beds around the dog park. 

What led you to start your composting operation?

Krause:  As a little kid, I was always a little shadow with my grandparents in the garden. Composting was simply part of the magical growing process. One of my treasured Christmas presents as a young gardener was Rodale’s Guide to Composting.

Think of the many sacrifices invested in our food: crops planted, harvested, trucked, stocked and sold.  Calves are born, fattened, slaughtered. A tremendous amount of energy is put into this food. Sadly, nearly half of this food investment is thrown away. I compost the vast energy remaining in this food. I harvest the untapped food potential to create new products. In this way, the food is respected and I can honor the work that has been put into it.

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

Krause:  I live in a small town, less than 800 people. I’m on the village board, work with the food pantry garden and waitress at the Cassville Café. Folks know how to find me. Potential customers reach out to me on Facebook (Big River Organics) or stop me on the street. Kids cheer when I drive by in my old topless Jeep: Go Worms! 

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

Krause: I estimate that I compost approximately 1,000 pounds a month of food waste. Some of my sources include the grocery store, the food pantry, Café, local tavern, campground and several residential customers.   

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

Krause:  I am a red wiggler (worm) farmer. Thousands of my wiggly livestock break down my finished compost further into valuable vermicast. Plants love this valuable soil amendment! I sell it in 50 pound pails. I also use it to make seed bombs which are compost morsels packed with wildflower seeds. Folks buy them from me and plant to spread beautiful flowers.

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


Community Hero: Duluth 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 Duluth Compost!

Duluth Compost was founded by Nathan Bronk, Duluth, MN in 2021.  Growing up Nathan was taught to reduce waste and be mindful of my impact, and those lessons have stuck with him. When he saw a way to fill a gap to help the Duluth community and the environment, creating Duluth Compost was a perfect fit! 

What led you to start your composting operation?

Bronk:  Growing up I was taught to reduce waste and be mindful of my impact, and those lessons have stuck with me. When I saw a way to fill a gap to help the Duluth community and the environment it was a perfect fit!

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

Bronk:  Duluth Compost serves Duluth, Minnesota and the easiest way to get started is to visit www.duluthcompost.com

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

Bronk:  So far this year our biggest pickup day was 500 pounds. It’s exciting to see this number and our impact grow!

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

Bronk:  One fun fact about Duluth Compost is that we partnered with a local farm this summer, processing food scraps into compost there for use on their fields. Community connections are the best and it is great to be a part of keeping food local.

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


Community Hero: SoDak 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 SoDak Compost!

SoDak Compost was founded by Deirdre Appel after moving to Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2021. She is a community gardener, works part-time at Cherry Rock Farms, and is a member of the Sioux Falls Co-Op and Dakota Rural Action. She received her Master of Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School at University of Texas at Austin in 2016. We spoke to her to learn a little more about her organization. 

What led you to start your composting operation?

Appel: Upon moving to Sioux Falls, South Dakota from Brooklyn, New York, I realized there was no way to continue recycling food scraps as I had been doing in New York City. Without access to a backyard, I was left with little options. After speaking with community members and seeing that there was a real demand for composting in Sioux Falls, despite its lack of existence, I decided I would start my own nonprofit and became the first community composting nonprofit in the state of South Dakota. Thanks to our amazing partners at IronFox Farms which host our compost bin system, we were able to collect our first banana peel in June 2022. 

We offer a weekly drop off service where participants can swap their full bucket for a new clean, BioBag-lined bucket for the upcoming week. We also are active in the community and host workshops, lead classes, and offer volunteer opportunities for anyone looking to learn how to compost.

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

Appel: We currently serve 40 households and a few small businesses. Those looking to start composting with us can visit www.sodakcompost.org/take-action or follow us on Instagram for more updates. 

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

Appel: Though it has varied with the seasons (including pumpkins!) we average about 800 pounds of food scraps a week. Since starting in June 2022, we have collected 10,000 pounds of organic material. We are starting small but thinking big.

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

Appel: SoDak Compost is the only nonprofit organization working on community composting in South Dakota. We hope we are the start of a new trend throughout the entire state. 

Anything else you’d like to share?

Appel: In December 2022, we both presented at the Sioux Falls Big River Sustainability Conference and composted the entire event. We made sure that no food scrap ended up in the landfill and swapped plastic utensils and plates for compostable products from VegWare

As we head into 2023, we are seeking new sites to expand to and working with Community Gardens and other partners to create our second location.

In January 2022, we participated in the Emerging Composter Competition at the U.S Composting Council Conference in Austin, Texas. Although we did not win, we left energized and inspired to put our ideas into action. Four months later, we officially launched our operations and collected our first food scraps. 

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


Community Hero: The Compost Company

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 The Compost Company!

Founded by Edward Wansing, The Compost Company is the only facility in middle Tennessee accepting food waste, which they recycle (along with other compostable materials) into organic composts, soil blends, and mulches. We spoke to Emily Ezell to find out more about her organization.

What led you to start your composting operation?

Ezell: At the time, there was a complete lack of infrastructure to provide food waste and compostable materials collection and recycling services in middle Tennessee.  Given that food has become one of the largest components of what goes into landfills, we were convinced that there was an enormous opportunity to have a meaningful positive impact on our community and environment.

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

Ezell: We serve commercial facilities of all descriptions: restaurants, offices, hotels, hospitals, food manufacturers, caterers, and event spaces.  If someone would like to explore how a program might work at their place of business, they can call 615-866-8152 or email jeffrey@compostcompany.com.

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

Ezell: We currently average around 160 tons per week.

Please give us one fun fact about you or your business.

Ezell: We have gotten in the habit of naming our trucks.  Our dump truck is Haulk Hogan (it has “Haulkamania” painted on the back), and our food waste collection truck is Macho Man Randy Salvage.

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