Recycling Food Waste To Generate Rich, Abundant Soil
Nearly 40 percent of all household trash is compostable – meaning those tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells, and fruit and vegetable peels you were about to toss into the garbage can be turned into compost for farms and gardens.
Atlanta-based company Compostwheels is on a mission to educate Atlanta residents about the importance of composting. Since 2012, the company has diverted more than two million pounds of food waste from landfills through its composting service, and it has established relationships with more than seven farms and gardens in Atlanta.
What makes Compostwheels unique is the company’s focus on local food production, according to Compostwheels Founder David Paull.
Through the company’s compost pick-up service, residential customers in the Atlanta area pay a monthly fee to have their food scraps and organic material collected by bike or truck straight from their doorsteps.
The small, family-run business then turns the compost into nutrient-rich soil that is delivered to local farms and gardens, or back to customers. Compostwheels also offers its service to commercial customers including Atlanta-area offices, coffee shops, grocery stores, schools, institutions and restaurants.
In 2016, Compostwheels’ customers diverted 1,190,000 pounds of food waste from Atlanta landfills – nearly triple the prior year’s 432,000 pounds.
To date, the compost company’s biggest success is the relationship it has established with local farmers, according to Paull.
“When talking with our farm partners, we are finding that the condition of their soil has drastically improved from working with us. Just yesterday, I was with a farmer who said their onions have never been this healthy and this large, and root systems are mind-bogglingly healthy. And to hear things like that is just tremendous. It means we're being effective in what we set out to do."