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Waste Not

 

I spent most of my formative years growing up in northern California, where I was first introduced to the concept of recycling and developed a deeply engrained recycling habit.  I used to live in a semi-suburban apartment complex in the middle of the Triangle, where recycling bins were conveniently located by the community trash compactor, easily enabling continuation of that happy habit.  When I started buying more produce at farmers’ markets, and via a CSA subscription, I noticed I was generating less “trash” in general.  No more frozen meal trays with packaging, since I was cooking from scratch more frequently.  Far fewer take out boxes and bags, since I had leftovers I could bring into work for lunch.  All pleasant by-products of purchasing from local farmers and farmers’ markets more frequently… though there were more veggie trimmings occupying space in my apartment trash bin.

Last summer, I moved out to the “countryside”, into a house with a shady backyard, thanks to the half-dozen tall trees dotting the landscape and those separating our yard from neighboring yards.  In the spring and summer we enjoy the trees’ shade, and my dog enjoys partaking in frequent squirrel activity “monitoring” sessions.  In the fall, we “enjoy” raking a seemingly bottomless ocean of fallen leaves.  My dog will chase down a single leaf, should a strong wind send one flying, stirring her herding instinct.  Not a terribly effective leaf collection method, but she tries to help, in her own way.

“Not a problem!” I thought last year while scanning the leafy landscape.  I’d read a bit about home composting and there was an existing (semi-abandoned) compost bin in the back yard already.  Now, I’d have some place to put all the veggie trimmings and paper products, and create something enriching with all those leaves.  Piece o’ cake!  Well, not exactly.  Still kinks to work out. But practice makes perfect, and I’m comfortable knowing I’m sending less and less to a landfill at each trash collection day.

If I was still in that apartment, or a condo, or a homeowner with limited space or little time to invest in composting, I’d be very interested in the services of CompostNow.  I was intrigued by a post I noticed on the Facebook page for Cafe Helios for the new company, and checked out the CompostNow website for more information.

Here’s the “short & sweet” about how CompostNow (a residential foodwaste shuttle) works:

  • When you sign up for the service you receive a small (4 gallon) bin with snap-tight lid to fill with compostable waste from your household.
  • Each Thursday, CompostNow picks up your filled bin from your front porch or front door, and leaves you a clean bin to refill at will, for the next week.
  • Members have the opportunity to “earn soil”.
  • You can sign up on the website, and the monthly service fee is $25.

I didn’t see information about the service area, so I contacted CompostNow via the online form for a few more details.  Matt replied promptly that CompostNow currently accepts all Raleigh and Cary residents, and if there’s enough interest, CompostNow hopes to service Durham and Chapel Hill in the future.  Matt also shared the following about the opportunity to “earn soil”:

“All of the food waste we collect is recycled at a large composting facility just outside of Raleigh, where it is turned into a nutrient rich soil that is perfect for landscaping and gardening.

CompostNow members also reap the benefits of their composting.  Members are entitled to receive an amount of the nutrient-rich soil product based on the amount of waste collected from their household.  The yield ratio is 50%.  In other words, if after a couple of months I’ve collected 100 lbs of waste, you are entitled to receive up to 50 lbs of compost whenever you want it.  It’s delivered to your home.”

Well, that seems like a win-win to me.  I create the waste, and CompostNow creates the good stuff that helps the gardens grow.

Interested in learning more?  This handy info-graphic from CompostNow tells you more.

By the way, I’m not a customer of CompostNow and am not compensated in any way… Well, except maybe it feels good to share information about a new business that strives to make our corner of the Triangle a bit greener.

(All images courtesy of CompostNow)

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