Will Pedal for Compost |East Side Compost Pedallers |Central Texas Gardener


My name’s Dan. I’m a pedaller with the
Eastside Compost Peddlers in Austin Texas. We pick up residential
and commercial organic waste stream basically to
divert it from landfill We’re about to break a
hundred thousand pounds composted all all without burning any diesel fuel We love the Compost Pedallers! Because they do such a unique service for our community by literally driving around, picking up food scraps on the back up their bikes
and taking into places that for compost The material that
we collect, we call scrapple, and as scrapple is
anything that you can compost with the compost pedallers. And
obviously that includes fruit and veggie scraps Some of the things that can go in are teabags. Just put it right in your bucket, the whole teabag If you compost four pounds
it turns into about a pound of finished compost The dryer lint, definitely, and a couple other things around the house
people might not think about Pencil shavings, toilet paper rolls. When you’re done with a roll just put it in your compost bin It helps to tear it up a little bit into
smaller piece so it composts more quickly We do have two kitchens in
our building. One is the staff kitchen upstairs On the first floor is a teaching and a
commercial kitchen. And the bulk of what we’re generating goes into those compost
bins. Sometimes I go through my spice drawer I know I found these bay leaves that are very old And they can all go in the compost and you can recycle the bag I want to talk about junk mail Right? We all gets tons of junk mail. So if it’s shiny paper like catalogs, that goes in recycling Shiny paper is for recycling. Magazines, these cardboard inserts, these are great for composting Tear them up, throw them in, and then As far as junk mail, if it’s shiny or has a plastic window go ahead and recycle that. But the contents are all perfectly good to throw in your recycling bin I was really surprised to see, even in a very progressive city like Austin, that there are so many people who have no idea what composting is or why someone would think of doing anything but throwing it all in one container and putting it at the curb And so I just saw this beautiful connect between the amount of waste that we create and all of the people who are starting to get interested in growing their own food We’re promoting that seed-to-table approach Part of the entire food system is always what ends up back in our soil. The best thing for our soil is compost, and where you get that? You get that from your food scraps. So I had this idea for the compost pedallers and it was really just kind of a pipe
dream idea, really, until I met Eric Gaugh who’s now my business partner I’ve always loved gardens That’s what got me interested in it – my experience doing gardening and stuff So doing that you stop being squeamish about composting and you start really loving it Not everyone has
the space, or really the time, to cultivate a compost pile Since 2012, Eastside Compost Pedallers cycles to the rescue through 5 neighborhoods to collect residential and commercial compostables Residential customers pay just $4 a week to spare in the landfill and nourish their neighborhood farms and
urban microgrowers I wanted to have a real direct environmental impact on my neighborhood I just kind of like the solitude when I’m riding around early in the morning I enjoy listening to podcasts while I do my work and I
think that’s pretty nice I like that it’s a physical job. Before doing this job I spent time working in an office for several years and I was very happy to start doing something
physical that just made me sort of feel alive I guess For efficiency and neighborhood connectivity, pedallers pick up and drop off within a few miles. Some neighbors donate a garage to store the metro fleet’s cargo bikes and supplies. The pedaling is not bad. It’s
not hard to ride these bikes even when there’s several hundred pounds in them What we do is we provide a bin which is a five gallon bucket with a lid And the vacuum… All the pet hair that you vacuum up when you brush your cats or dogs, Put the pet hair in the bucket But certainly any of your vacuum contents, right in the bin They fill it throughout the week and I come by on the bike, stop, pick up their bucket So what I’m doing now is I’m going to weigh my bin So as a member you’re able to go on the website and look at a scorecard that shows you in real time, updated each week, how much you’ve composted to date They sanitize with organic soap Because we put a paper bag in bin every week I tear it up just so that it breaks down a little bit more quickly And we like to write little encouraging notes Well, maybe not with this one 30 percent of the residential waste stream is composable But if you’re talking about the commercial waste stream from restaurants, it’s more like 50 to 80 percent We have a lot go vegetables to throw out, and instead of it going into a dumpster, it goes back into soil in our local community and creates more food for everybody We’ve been doing recycling the whole time. And we actually won an award from the city The fact that we’re taking several
hundred pounds of waste out of a landfill I think more than more then makes up for the small cost that we pay We get more customers because we do it. We also changed the way our box looks You sort of do your route So that once you get to a point where you’re loaded up then you’re right there at your drop site we drop them here or we drop them at local gardens, community gardens where they have the same sort of bays set up here and Dustin said he was even able to break up a lot of the… paper plates are pretty large and when you chop them into smaller pieces then it’s always going to help as well You don’t want to put shredded paper in your recycling bin It can jam up the recycling machines It’s really great for your compost bucket, it helps absorb a lot of the moisture Dinne has a bill, and this is a good Idea. Credit card offers or junk mail. So you’re not going to have to worry about ID theft So this is the end of my route or part of my route. What we do is we partner with a number farms, community gardens, and local growers, micro growers, and we provide our scraps to them we get probably a couple hundred pounds of compost from them a week and then we’re able to break that down and we have multiple stages in our hot composting bays and a bay for all of our finished compost We compost at over twenty different urban farms, community gardens and backyards Their margins are relatively thin and so being able to provide a
resource and to help those growers by providing nutrients is also really attractive to me Waste is also a man made convention, right? Waste in nature does not exist. You go walk around in the woods, there’s no such thing as a landfill. And at the end of the day we’ve diverted tons and tons of material from the landfill and use that to empower people to grow more food

3 thoughts on “Will Pedal for Compost |East Side Compost Pedallers |Central Texas Gardener

  1. Never ever ever compost paper. Please stop this practice immediately. You are contributing to deforestation.

  2. NO! Most tea bags have plastic holding the bag together. Deconstruct the bag, tea leaves string and the paper tag.
    Unless you only wear and wash natural fiber clothing, DON'T compost dryer lint!

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