Curbside composting is very appealing to West Enders, who tend not to have room for at-home composting piles. Also, a composting program can take advantage of large commercial composting piles that heat up to 160 degrees and can break down pretty much any organic waste. Many residential compost piles cannot handle some types of waste — meat and bones, for example — but large commercial operations can break down most anything with no problem.
The program is pretty simple. Put your organic waste — such as food scraps, paper napkins, grass clippings — into a bucket. Every week, place your bucket curbside with your other garbage and recycling, and a truck swings by to pick it up and take it to a composting site. The waste is turned into nutrient dense compost that can be used to organically grow food.
Garbage to Garden was the first company to bring curbside composting to residents in Portland. Beginning in 2012 with just a “few hundred dollars” and a few friends, Tyler Frank has grown his composting business to include a fleet of trucks serving several communities and moving 50 tons of organic waste every week.
Now a competitor sees the opportunity in residential composting. We Compost It Brand Ambassador Kaitlyn Cunningham visited the July West End Neighborhood Association meeting to introduce the company and to offer WENA members a discount.
We Compost It kicked off their curbside composting program this past Spring, when Resurgam, a commercial composting business working mostly with local restaurants and schools, expanded to include a residential program.
Garbage to Garden welcomes the competition. According to Tyler Frank, compostable organic waste makes up more than forty percent of the waste stream. Figuring out how to reuse that waste can make a big difference for the environment. Anything that leads to more people composting is a good thing, if you ask Tyler.
“This is a way to take half the food waste that is going to the landfill in the city and save the world. Food waste breaking down in landfills is the number two contributor to greenhouse gas emissions behind engines,” Tyler said.
The two programs have some differences. We Compost It is less expensive at only $9.95 per month, and for WENA members there is a discounted rate of $8.99 per month. The discount has been extended to include our readers, as well! Go to wecompostit.com/grow-with-us and mention that you heard about We Compost It from the West End News to get the discount.
Garbage to Garden costs $14 per month, but they offer a little more service for the money. Garbage to Garden swaps out dirty buckets with clean ones when they pick up compost. Also, upon request they will deliver a small bag of finished compost. We Compost It offers compost pick up.
So before you choose to compost in your household, do a little research. You have options.