The Composting Bandwagon
Composting is fermenting innovation. Here are some of the new thinkers leading the way.
Honey’s Harvest Market & Deli, Rose Haven
Anna Chaney’s family has been composting since she was a kid, so when she started her businesses, composting came naturally. At Herrington on the Bay — Chaney’s wedding, special event site and catering company — and Honey’s Harvest Deli and Market, 10 to 15 tons of food scraps are composted each year at Chaney’s farm in Harwood.
There is no financial incentive, Chaney says. In fact, the cost of the labor and sorting and transporting the food waste exceeds the price of throwing food waste in the dumpster. For Chaney, composting is a mission.
“We have a strong belief that we are doing the best that we can for the environment, because without the environment we don’t have anything,” Chaney says.
Howard County Curbside Food Scraps Pilot Program
Howard Countians can put their food waste out on the curb next to the recycling to get composted. Howard is Maryland’s first county offering curbside pick-up for compost material, which is then shipped to a Delaware compost center. The pilot program may continue if the county concludes it is sustainable. It could remove about 23 percent of Howard County’s waste stream, turning it into compost instead, according to recycling coordinator Gemma Evans.
Veteran Compost, Aberdeen
When Justen Garrity got home from Iraq in 2010, he knew he wanted to get into a green business, and when he saw the statistics of composting — a lot of compostable material and not a lot of people doing anything with it — he decided to take the composting leap.
After a few months researching, Garrity invested what money he had to build Veteran Compost. Business is booming.
“Two years ago, I had no customers and no one would talk to me,” Garrity says. “Now I have people calling me all the time.”
Based in Aberdeen, Veteran Compost collects from the Annapolis area, including restaurants like Harry Browne’s, Galway Bay, Metropolitan and Lemongrass.
“I’ve seen restaurants go from seven or eight trash cans a day to one a week,” Garrity says.
Compost Cab, Washington, D.C.
Compost Cab set out to solve two problems. First, city residents wanted to compost but didn’t have the tools or space. Second, farmers needed material to compost. Compost Cab solves both problems — and has a catchy name. Creator Jeremy Brosowsky dispatches a fleet of small trucks.
Compost Cab collects “tons and tons” from hundreds of residents all around D.C. and delivers it to urban farms so they can make soil. Brosowsky is now expanding his smart idea to Baltimore.
A weekly D.C. pickup costs $8, a month-long contract costs $32.
“Fundamentally there is a lack of composting infrastructure in the Mid-Atlantic,” Brosowsky says. “Anytime someone builds an innovative program from composting, it’s a great thing.”