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Tapping the Postconsumer Bounty

Kompost Kids is poised to launch its first postconsumer compost pilot project, partnering with local businesses to divert organics from landfills and use it to create compost and soil.

The central premise of the pilot is that businesses, by diverting organic waste from the solid waste stream, can reduce the frequency and volume of waste pickups. Overall waste removal costs – landfill, recycling, and compost – will remain the same or decrease. The pilot aims to learn how such a program can be implemented and hopes to capture data that can be used to design a similar program for all of Milwaukee.

The methodology is simple: divert all organic waste (including postconsumer) from Milwaukee restaurants to a certified composting facility, The Farm’s Composting, by organic waste haulers, including Sanimax and others. Postconsumer organic waste includes everything before and after it touches a plate to be served. This means everything organic including chicken bones, meat scraps, dairy products, and other items excluded from your typical compost pile.

Each business normally has two haulers (recycling and solid waste), two pickup frequencies, and two containers in place. This program will introduce a third hauler, a third pickup, and a third container.

Follow these steps to help save the environment and potentially some money:

  1. Sign up for the pilot program with Kompost Kids.
  2. Receive the Post Consumer Composting Introductory Kit (in the works) or meet with a Kompost Kid pilot program partner.
  3. Assess the size of receptacle and frequency your business will need to begin composting.
  4. Place an order with Sanimax or other other organics hauler directly, or for subsidized pickup, contact Kompost Kids.
  5. Place an order for compost buckets and compostable bags either directly through retail supplier or for subsidized order, contact Kompost Kids.
  6. Train kitchen and wait staff on new program utilizing training materials and the importance of removing nonorganic items such as forks and straws.
  7. When your compost receptacle arrives – buckets and compostable bags – begin composting.
  8. Provide Kompost Kids feedback on all aspects of your experience by filling out the provided survey on a weekly basis and furnishing to Kompost Kids your monthly trash removal bill.

Overall items to report and keep in mind:

  • Staff training and reception.
  • Time (in days, weeks, or months) for complete transition: How long after the organic dumpster was delivered were you able to decrease size and/or frequency of your landfill receptacle or pickups?
  • What would make your experience better?

A pretrial with VIA Downer officially began when the 2 cubic yard bin was delivered on December 20, 2014. From the owner of Via on Downer in a WUWM interview,

“But [owner of Via on Downer] also plans to gauge the cost of making this change. Right now, he spends up to $500 a month to have crews pick up the restaurant’s trash and recycling. He says, in order to add a third dumpster for compost, the scheme must make financial, as well as environmental sense.”

Contact Kompost Kids today to join other Milwaukee restaurants on the way to making Milwaukee a leader in waste handling best practices, environmental stewardship, and giving back to the earth what we’ve taken.

One comment

  1. Hi, I’m very interested in our business implementing this program. We composted through Growing Power for 2 years but stopped this winter because of the weather. Please email or call me at 414-278-7878