Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Starting a community composting and recycling company

Don't just sit there like a bump on a log, Mark Twain, 1863 
I mentioned in a previous post, Going Zero Waste, that, since moving to a different town, I've been frustrated by the lack of recycling and municipal composting options. For starters, there's no curbside recycling pickup. This is manageable because the transfer station for recycling drop off is relatively close to my house. The downside is that the recycling options are fairly abysmal - meaning, there's no paper, glass or plastic recycling (except soda bottles).

Time to Study!
Additionally, there's no curbside yard waste or food waste pickup. There is free yard waste recycling at the transfer station. However, you have to have the right kind of vehicle to successfully drop off the kind of yard waste most households tend to generate. In other words, my tiny Fiat, Luigi, can't help out here. And, there is no food waste composting allowed.

What's a poor environmentalist to do under such circumstances? Well, if you're a Crunchy Chicken, you start your own community Food Waste Composting and Recycling company! We're very much in the early days, but I'll be chronicling what we're up to.

How did this start?
One of my neighbors, Brian, saw my post on feeding my downed apples to my friend's pigs and reached out to me to discuss what work he was doing in the community with harvesting fruit for local food banks and what to do with food waste. We spent a lot of time discussing the above mentioned issues and, over the last month, have started planning and framing out a business plan. We're also meeting with quite a number of members of the community who are very interested and want to participate in some capacity, either by using our services, or helping us with their ideas.

The plan
Right now, we're looking into several different sites. One for a drop-off demonstration food waste composting site and the second for a much larger composting operation. We're also researching our options for providing recycling pickup to residents.

At this point, we're initially planning on offering curbside food waste pickup to residents of Roslyn for a monthly fee, with the option of receiving back finished compost. There's also the option for food waste drop-off at the demonstration site for those outside our service area. In the future, the plan is to sell compost at the local farmers market as well as at a local retailer.

"Fruit Waste to Farms"
We'll also be working with local farmers starting this spring to develop a program for connecting chicken and pig farmers with downed fruit this summer. There are so many fruit trees in this town and the amount of downed fruit generated is rather shocking.

I'd much rather have food get consumed by animals first, with composting food scraps second. I'm calling it our "Fruit Waste to Farms" program and would love to have participants in the program who are donating their fruit receive eggs or meat as part of the service. 

Finally, we'd like to offer glass recycling pickup while we are at it. I'm working with my contacts in Solid Waste for becoming a glass recycling supplier, but that plan is further out. Ideally, we'd also like to provide recycling pickup options while we're picking up in the neighborhood. And, eventually, pickup by bicycle or a used cooking oil biofuel truck is on the horizon.

What's next?
Like I said, we're still very much in the planning stage and getting our ideas and services lined up. We're hoping to be offering services starting in February of 2020. There's a lot of work to be done, but I'll be keeping you posted on the nitty gritty here.

If you want to follow our Facebook page, you can do so here at SwiftCycle Composting Company.


String Theory said...

That is freaking awesome. Talk about "be the change". Hugely impressed to see you working on this.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Thanks, @String Theory!!

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Nicole said...

That is awesome. Composting of any variety is something we struggle with in my town. We just lost our recycling program, too, because it wasn't feasible for the city to operate. I have to travel to the next town that has an active recycling program to get our recycling done. But at least we can compost our personal food waste at home. *sigh* I wish you the best of luck in what you are doing. The one thing I can say for our town concerning food waste that is hopeful is that we have a healthy Gleaners group that visits local farms after the primary harvest, and they get the leavings ( normally good quality, but hard to harvest) to bring to a local food pantry/shelter for our under-served and homeless communities. At least we have that going for us. :) Many blessings on the road ahead.

Baizid said...

First of all i want to thank you for providing such a wonderfull information and request you to keep updating in future.