Food waste is the highest percentage of waste sent to landfills according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Atlas Organics, a food waste collection and composting company, is providing an answer to this waste issue. Atlas Organics is expanding their residential program Compost House to the Chattanooga area beginning Aug. 11.
Old banana peels, onions that have gone bad, even the food scraps left over from dinner are the materials Compost House is looking for. For any compost enthusiasts out there, due to the size and maintenance of the Atlas Organics facilities, all food waste including cooked meat, bones, dairy and even paper products like napkins and paper plates can be turned into compost through
The average American discards about 20 pounds of uneaten food every month worth $28-$43, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Working on reducing waste and/or donating what is still usable is best but if food products are no longer eatable, composting them is the way to go, said officials.
Even though your own waste may seem minimal or not worth the trouble, Cullon Hooks, Compost House coordinator Chattanooga begs to differ. “We all talk about making a difference or needing something to change in the way our system works," Mr. Hooks says. “This is a viable decision you can make that impacts the big picture. All amounts of waste sent to compost matters. It’s doing your part.”
In the past three months, the 45-60 members of Compost House sent 3,617 pounds of waste to be composted. It adds up quickly.
Compost House offers a doorstep pickup program ($24 a month) where they come weekly to a door to swap out dirty buckets for clean ones or a drop-off program ($14 a month) where participants bring food waste to a designated drop-off location. A bucket or buckets are provided based on the program of choice.
“People’s homes are sacred, everyone is busy, you have routines," said Mr. Hooks. "We respect that. But this doesn’t have to be a major change. The bin where you put your food waste just looks different."
Once collected the waste is then transported to Atlas Organics pilot facility at Crabtree Farms in conjunction with GreenSpaces Chattanooga or another Atlas Organics facility where it is composted into a high-quality soil amendment known as finished compost.
Monthly subscribers to the Compost House programs receive 10 gallons of this finished compost each month upon request. Finished compost is known for its nutrient rich properties as well as its ability to retain water and help rebuild soil structure. Simply by being part of the Compost House program and recycling waste by composting, program participants experience first hand the Table to Farm cycle.
For more details and to sign up for Compost House service, visit their website www.CompostHouse.com. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org