You know what doesn’t mix? Trying to show your house with a giant, ripe jar of compost on the kitchen counter or a bulky composter chilling on the deck. Are there ways to make it work? Sure, but with my particular living situation, it was simply easier to dump my existing compost into the garden, pack up my clean composter (remember that time I had flying cockroaches in my car, thanks to buying compost?!), and get back to the 4 million items on my to do list to get my house ready.
Let’s go ahead and say it, preparing your house for sale is not going to be the shining moment of your zero waste journey. More on that later.
When CompostNow first reached out to me to give their porch-side compost pick up a whirl, I was pulling my hair out over where to store my ever-growing heap of compostables. Once you’ve gotten used to composting, it is nearly impossible to start putting your food waste back in the landfill.
Yes, I said emphatically. YES. COME TAKE THIS MESS AWAY!
And like a zero waste superhero, CompostNow swooped in and left a tidy lidded compost bucket on my front porch.
Reese’s Note: I currently have some NASTY THINGS in my compost bin. If you take the top off, it smells like something out of The Walking Dead. Like, an arm might pop out and swipe at you.
With the lid on, you CANNOT SMELL A THING. It’s glorious. I had two open houses to sell my home and no one caught even the slightest whiff of compost from the laundry room!
What is CompostNow?
CompostNow is a regional collective that offers weekly private pick up of compostables for businesses and private residences alike, and they’re NOW HERE IN CHARLESTON!
What cities does CompostNow service?
CompostNow currently services Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Atlanta, Asheville, and now Charleston. Each location has a home pick up program, and all but Asheville also offer an office program and commercial (restaurants/schools, etc) program.
How does it work?
As a citizen, you sign up for either one or two bins a week. CompostNow delivers the bins. You fill them up. You put them out. CompostNow picks them up. CompostNow leaves you new, clean bins. You track your compost and either ask for it back or donate it to a community garden.
Why does it matter?
Since 2011, CompostNow has diverted more than 9,345,179 pounds of waste from the landfill. Not only are they providing an apartment-friendly compost solution, they’ve been restoring nutrients to our soils. CompostNow states, “Along this journey, we've discovered that composting creates more jobs, fights climate change, and builds a more vibrant, resilient local food system.”
But Reese, I already compost. Why would I sign up for CompostNow?
11 Reasons I’m Keeping CompostNow Even Though I Have A Compost System
You can compost meat, bones, and dairy. The big downside to backyard composting, for me, is that there are some items you just can’t compost, namely meat products. That’s a big bummer when you’re working so hard to live a zero waste lifestyle and reduce your impact as an omnivore. With CompostNow, this is no longer a problem! They’ll happily take your meat scraps.
CompostNow takes oils and fats. You know what I hate the most about my addiction to bacon? Other than the plastic packaging? The fact that the grease can’t go in my backyard composter. And while I did read an article on how you can use bacon grease to oil your door hinges, I seriously don’t recommend doing that. Just put it in your CompostNow bin instead.
CompostNow takes soiled fast food paper wrappings and pizza boxes. What’s that, you say? You can’t recycle pizza boxes? Nope! Oil and grease stained cardboard and paper products are a no-go, friend. Compost them quickly and effectively with your CompostNow bin.
It’s convenient. I have a smaller composter, which was perfect for me as a solo homeowner. Now that I’m moving in with my boyfriend, however, we’ll have double the “green” compost in a system only designed to take so much at one time. While we do have lovely neighbors who happily let us donate to their compost heap, it’s great that CompostNow will return your compost back to you when you plant for fall.
You can reduce your recycling. You may have read that since China stopped taking recyclables from the US, we’re in a bit of a bind. In fact, some US cities actually send your recycling to be burned, and you should read about it. Disheartening, right? Well, guess what! CompostNow will also take paper towel rolls, flour and sugar bags, even paper towels themselves!
CompostNow takes BPI Certified Compostable Plastics! Compostable plastics can be tricky. While they’re definitely a great step forward, they’re not backyard-composter friendly, and I hate having compostable plastic containers piling up in my mud room or car until I can return them from whence they came (I’m looking at you, Verde containers). Remember, compostable plastics and biodegradable plastics are NOT THE SAME THING.
CompostNow will help you really go zero waste. Composting your own food waste, recycling, refusing single use items are all great, but a truly zero waste lifestyle is hard to pull off. Kathryn Kellogg with Going Zero Waste did a great post on why the “trash jar” is bullshit earlier this year (also her new book just came out, show the lady some love!). Like, what do you do with natural wine corks? I have a lot of those, don’t judge me. They’re not backyard compostable and I can’t turn ALL of them into earrings. CompostNow will happily take them!
You can pay it forward. I’m downsizing my garden with my move, but not my produce-forward and compost-heavy lifestyle. Whether you’re a not gardener or just producing more compost than you need, your excess compost goes back into your community gardens, helping close the loop and extend your impact.
You’re supporting the movement to create waste-free communities. If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely already an eco-minded person. We are not, unfortunately, in the majority. Supporting new zero waste endeavors such as CompostNow helps to spread awareness and turn the tide on reckless consumerism in your town.
You’re strengthening your community. CompostNow keeps compostables out of the landfill, helps individuals close in on their zero waste goals, strengthens your community gardens, returns nutrients to your local soil, and provides jobs. That feels like the ultimate win-win to me, y’all!
You can track your impact. Rarely do we actually get to quantify how our zero waste habits positively change the world, they’re more about how we’re NOT impacting the world, which makes CompostNow’s compost tracker a beautiful thing. Watch that number grow with each bin of compostables saved from the landfill, and know that your choices do have tangible impact.