CompostNow will Compost Your Food For You

June, 23, 2011 , by Jedidiah

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We here at New Raleigh are huge fans of composting and a local start-up company has created a quick and easy way for you to compost all of your food scraps (and other compostable materials) without all the bin maintenance at home. I've personally been composting for almost two years and can say that the benefits far outweigh whatever cons are associated with having a composting bin in your yard. But, we know there are circumstances where residents are not able to keep a bin in their yard and that's where CompostNow comes in with their brilliant idea and business model.

CompostNow's business model is simple. They bring you a bin. You keep it in the best place possible (under the kitchen sink or on the back porch). You put your food scraps, coffee grinds, etc in the bin. They pick up the bin each Thursday and give you a new one. They compost everything for you. Together you save trash bag space, create garden fertilizer and generally begin to understand the concept of letting food go back to its original source, the ground. 

 

I spoke with Matthew Rostetter, the lone rider in CompostNow, and he had a lot to say about his company's future. 

Rostetter started the business back in March and has gained over a dozen members so far though only word-of-mouth. He "travels around like a mailman" in his Honda Element each week to various homes picking up the 4 gallon buckets (with snap-tight lids) and delivering the goods to Brooks Composting Facility in Goldston, NC. Brooks is able to compost meat, bones and dairy products which gives them a slight edge over home composting which is solely organic based.

CompostNow returns with soil compost that has been already broken down by the company. This soil is then redeemable by each member. Rostetter stated that, on average, a home composter would net 50% of their weight of food put into a compost bin as total soil. CompostNow guarantees each member this 50% back if each member would like it. He will even deliver your soil back to you, whenever you want it for your garden, flower beds, etc. There's an option in the works that members who do not want their percentage back can donate it to local community gardens. 

Rostetter is continuing to build his new business and says that he can currently handle up to around 100 members. He plans on getting a trailer to handle the future composting traffic.  At $25 per month (with little to nothing for the user to do), CompostNow seems like a no-brainer for the environmentally conscious. A locally based Kickstarter-inspired company called Rippple (more on them soon) has started to help fund Raleigh businesses and CompostNow is currently in the process of putting together a funding campaign. Check back soon for more on CompostNow's Rippple campaign. Currently, CompostNow will take members in the Raleigh, Apex and Cary area but have thoughts of expanding towards the Durham area, if the need arises.

We are very excited about CompostNow and how it will hopefully garner a handful of new and unlikely composting fans. For those interested in the general rules of composting or building your own compost bin at home, Let it Rot is a great book that describes each step in the process and which foods/products are able to be composted. 

The City of Raleigh sponsored Composting Awareness Week earlier this month, sold cheap bins and gave lessons on how to compost at home. CompostNow would be a fantastic thing for the City of Raleigh to help support, but considering how long it has taken them to roll out the new recycling trash cans to everyone in the city, composting is definitely not on their forefront...although it should be.

Sign up for CompostNow over at their website. Seriously, $25 per month. I bet you spend more than that each month on smartphone apps that you delete after one use.

 








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  • oldtimer
    06/30 03:01 PM

    “CompostNow seems like a no-brainer for the environmentally conscious.”

    Yes, I agree - you’d pretty much have to have no brain at all to think that driving your food scraps almost 60 miles to Goldston in a car that burns a fair amount of fossil fuel, then driving about half that biomass back to town again in same car, is “environmentally conscious”.

    (BTW, meat, bones and dairy products are indeed organic materials, and I have composted them at home for almost 30 years.)

  • Synaesthesiac
    06/30 08:34 PM

    ^Composting all the way in Goldston, with only 100 customer’s organic scraps, struck me as being an inefficient use of time and energy as well.  However, eventually I’d think economies of scale would permit this venture to at least break even, which is probably good enough.  If the demand is there, certainly a composting facility could be built in the triangle area (Morrisville?)

    For maximum profitability the compost business could be paired with an organic produce farm as well as a produce delivery service.  If people’s scraps could be exchanged for discounted organic in-season produce this service would be quite a bargain, and the same fossil fuels would be used to collect scraps and deliver the fresh stuff.

  • Aaron
    07/01 07:24 PM

    Is there a contact number or phone that I could utilize? I’m looking to sign up in the Durham area for a local food truck that needs someone to handle their compost.

  • shorty3
    07/02 01:53 PM

    I do think this could be a good idea for business owners/restaurants/apartment dwellers who don’t have a yard to do their own composting in. I do think it would be better for the company to have a closer composting facility so they don’t waste so much gas driving out there.

    For a homeowner like me, though, and one on a tight budget, it seems kind of silly to spend $25 a month to pay someone else to do something I can do for free.  Here’s how I compost.  I throw my veggie scraps and coffee grounds in a tupperware, and every 2-3 days, I go dump it in a pile in my yard.  Done.  I don’t stir it or aerate it or have a fancy bin or anything.  Beautiful compost created.  Struggling to figure out why i would pay someone else $300 a year to do that.

  • M
    07/06 11:13 AM

    If you don’t have your own yard to compost in, consider partnering up with a friend who does.

    I freeze all my food scraps until the container is full (those big plastic ones that organic spinach comes in are super handy for this - we buy a LOT of spinach in my house) and then I take them to my parents’ house and dump it all in their compost bin.

    I’m 100% for composting though, and I think this service is a great alternative to those who don’t have another way to do it.

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