Compost Cab = Compost Champion
August 15, 2013
We’d like to shine a headlight on a Source Separated Organics (SSO) Superhero that hails from Washington, D.C.: a company called Compost Cab. Forbes wrote about Compost Cab and how it offers residential and commercial curbside compost pickup for $8.00 per week and delivers nutrient-rich soil to its customers twice per year in return. As noted in the article by Forbes, founder Jeremy Brosowsky “hopes the city puts him out of business in a few years.” We admire someone willing to take risks so the city hears his wakeup call. Kudos to everything these composting pioneers are doing in D.C.
The same article mentions a few cities leading the organic diversion charge. What kinds of activities do the compost trailblazers perform? Well, we dug a little deeper for highlights across North America:
San Francisco, CA
From mandatory residential recycling and composting to construction and demolition debris recovery to event recycling and composting within San Francisco, the city is well on its way of achieving its goal of zero waste by 2020.
New York, NY
As the Wall Street Journal reported, Mayor Bloomberg is pushing food scrap recycling programs in the waning months of his third term. The Mayor vows to divert 30 percent of the city’s trash from landfills by 2017. Food waste comprises the majority of the goal. Harvest Power operates several facilities near the Big Apple.
Metro Vancouver, BC
Metro Vancouver is home to the Zero Waste Challenge, which includes a plethora of goals and initiatives, aimed at reducing waste and increasing recycling. In 2015 food and compostable organics (including food scraps) will be banned from the landfill. At the nexus of this activity is Harvest Power’s Energy Garden, the largest commercial scale high solids anaerobic digester in North America.
Connecticut has pioneered an elegant policy around anaerobic digestion: Pending legislation (SB 1081) in Connecticut states that starting January 2014, any commercial generator who produces 104 tons or more of organic waste per year is required to recycle organic material into composting or anaerobic digestion facilities if they are within 20 miles from where the food waste is generated.
The state’s Solid Waste Master Plan calls for raising the state’s diversion rate to 64 percent by 2020 and 90 percent by 2050. Pending legislation in Massachusetts bans disposal of organics from commercial sources.
The City of Portland aims to reduce waste and to raise the recycling rate to 75 percent by 2015. With such a comprehensive website with composting tips, videos and walkthroughs, Portland is setting its residents up for success.
For residents, Boulder has the metrics on its organic waste generation. They also supply many resources in order to hit their zero waste targets including many yard waste and food scrap drop-off sites. For businesses, organics collection is available as well. The food waste and compostables collected in Boulder are mixed with yard waste material and composted within the city, avoiding a high cost of transport to remote facilities.
Ann Arbor, MI
In March 2012, Ann Arbor City Council passed a resolution in support of the existing 1990 legislative ban on sending yard wastes to state landfills.
Thanks to all SSO Superheros out there working to sort scraps for a sustainable future.