On a recent trip to Garbage to Garden with our manager Amy, where we got a tour of the facility, I was reminded of a trip to Chewonki my sixth grade class went on. We camped, made our own food, participated in obstacle courses, learned about teamwork, and worked on our self confidence. For a bunch of awkward 11 and 12 year olds, it was the kind of experience you don’t forget. I can still taste the burnt macaroni and cheese that devastated my dining experience on the second night. I was the kind of kid up for any adventure, except when it came to food. Spaghetti and frozen cheese sticks were my main source of fuel in those days. I even went as far as becoming a vegetarian at the age of 13 to avoid an entire food group. Nonetheless, I survived Chewonki and came out the other side a stronger and a more informed individual.
Chewonki was also the first place I had ever seen a compost pile. It was huge, or at least huge for a twelve year old. It was the biggest pile of smelly food scraps I had ever seen. Surprisingly, I jumped in without hesitation and got my first experience of turning compost. Now, 20 something years later, I get to use this unforgettable experience and apply it to my own values in my working environment.
Like most businesses, and even homes, having a personal compost pile is not the most accessible reality. That is what makes a company like Garbage to Garden so valuable in our community. They have created a curbside compost company that allows urban dwellers, school districts and commercial businesses like ours to participate in the sustainability of our community.
Garbage to Garden has allowed Dandelion to separate our food and organic materials while prepping for our events. It’s as simple as having a compost bucket at each prep station. Once they are filled, they are brought outside to our Garbage to Garden bins. When those fill up, Garbage to Garden picks them up and gives us clean bins to refill. It’s a win-win for all.
Tyler Frank, the owner of Garbage to Garden, has made composting accessible to everyone. If the monthly cost of composting is too much for any given household, Garbage to Garden facilitates volunteer opportunities with 12 partner non-profits each month; anyone can volunteer and in return, have the monthly charge waived. It’s another way to give back to the community and open the door for everyone to compost.
Another fun perk about using Garbage to Garden, is that a standard residential account can request one bag of compost per service week. Each bag contains about 2.5 gallons of compost. Perfect for springtime garden planting!
Composting is an important step in eliminating waste being shipped to landfills. Maine will hopefully be soon following Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts in passing legislation that will require businesses and institutions that dispose of one ton or more of organic waste a week to compost.
We are so thankful for Garbage to Garden for helping us make this part of our business more sustainable.
We are so thankful to Pheobe, from Garbage to Garden, for taking time out of her day to walk Amy and I around their facility and explain the process to us. If you haven’t already, make sure to scope them out online.