Athens Startup Educates Consumers on Composting

[Athens, GA / Damon Jones – Reporting]
You know the old saying that one man’s trash is another man‚Äôs treasure. That’s the basis behind composting, as it
takes items thrown away on a daily basis such as food scraps, grass clippings, and paper
products and turns them into something very useful. [Kristen Baskin – Let Us Compost]
So, composting is just the decomposition of organic material into humus. It takes carbon and nitrogen, they get mixed
together, there’s about a third nitrogen and two thirds carbon, and then they magically
just work together. And through process of bacteria working and
air, they just make soil. [Damon]
Not only is this finished product great for farms, lawns, and gardens, but it also provides
a huge benefit for the environment as well. [Kristen]
It also serves as a carbon sponge. So, it can actually take CO2 out of the atmosphere. So, not only are you diverting it from the
landfill, which is just so good for the environment for a number of reasons, but once it’s applied,
it takes then even more CO2 out of the atmosphere. So, it’s just one of the best things you can
do for the planet. And it’s fun and it’s easy. [Damon]
That’s why in 2012, Kristen decided to start up her own company Let Us Compost, to make
the process more accessible to the community by actually coming to the customer. [Kristen]
So, compost service is just like a trash service. You just have a green bin that’s got a compostable
bag in it. You put all your waste into it. You tie it up. You take it out to the curb. After it leaves the curb it goes right to
the composting facility which is 20 minutes down the road, and it gets turned into soil. [Damon]
Over the years, a number of business around Athens have taken notice and signed up for
the program including Chick fil A and the Terrapin Brewery. [Dustin Watts – Terrapin Beer Company]
As a business and a brewery, you now, we’re going to inherently make waste, and we want
to figure out the best way to reduce our overall footprint as a brewery, and composting is
a huge avenue for us to do that in. [Damon]
And so far, so good, as businesses have really taken to the idea, and are even looking to
do more. [Dustin]
I mean, from a commercial side, we’re really excited about it because I think we’re doing
the right thing by trying to take waste and make soil from it. We’re really excited with the results so far
and really can’t wait to dig in a little more. [Damon]
However, Baskin hopes this is just the beginning of a growing trend, as business owners start
to recognize how beneficial composting is and just how easy it is to do. [Kristen]
I don’t think that restaurant owners realize how amazing it is to have a facility 20 minutes
down the road that you put your food into a bin, it goes 20 minutes down the road and
six weeks later it turns into soil which is then given to farmers all around Athens. [Dustin]
I think that a lot of businesses understand that they have a trash can and a recycling
can. Maybe they should have a compost can there
to and look into the opportunities and benefits that can be from composting and how you can
just be a better citizen and also a better company in the community you live in. [Damon]
And that’s really the main goal for businesses like Let Us Compost as they hope to spread
awareness throughout the community. [Kristen]
We want as many people composting as possible. If our business makes money, that’s great. If some other composting business makes money,
that’s awesome. I just really want this to work and for it
to be totally normal in Athens. [Damon]
Reporting from Clarke County, I’m Damon Jones for the Farm Monitor.

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