How Do I Compost My Compostables?

so you have all your certified compostable serviceware. Now what?

How do I find someone to pick up my food waste? Where is the nearest commercial composting facility?

Most of our products are intended for commercial composting facilities only. With the exception of bagasse, they just just won’t biodegrade quickly enough in a back yard compost bin. At an industrial facility, the waste is shredded, mixed in with other compostable items and turned. It gets really hot (like 150 degrees) and should break down within 60-90 days if properly managed.

The sad news is that, currently, there aren't many commercial composting facilities in our area that accept food waste from the public. And there are few options for "resource recovery" (waste hauling) to get the waste there. New companies are getting off the ground, but the industry in Ohio is still in its early stages.

Local customers can visit our Resources page for food waste haulers and compost facilities in central Ohio. You can also check out the map of commercial composting facilities on the Ohio EPA’s composting page. Outside of Ohio, for the rest of the U.S.A. and Canada, visit the BioCycle website. Please note, some of these facilities invite the public and others do not. The real missing piece of the puzzle, even in some communities that have a facility composting food scraps, is distribution. Without haulers who are willing or incentivized to pick up compostable waste, it becomes nearly impossible for individuals or small businesses to participate.

Don’t get too discouraged! Commercial composting does make economic sense and it is in our near future; you can help create the market for it now. By being on the cutting edge, you’re helping to create the scale needed for a viable industry.

And even if your compostables do end up in a landfill, it’s highly likely that they will get sufficiently mangled by the heavy machinery used and will compost before they ever become entombed. In any event, they are made from plants and will not leach toxins when the landfill fails, the way that petroleum-based products do.

In the meantime, contact local elected officials, let them know there is demand! In Ohio, find your local solid waste management district here. Talk to your county commissioners on the district's Board of Directors - they work for you!

It is happening, even here in Ohio! Our Athens customers and city residents are lucky to have Athens-Hocking Organics operating with weekly pickup. In Licking County, we have The Compost Farm in Alexandria. And our friends in the Wooster area have their own facility accepting food waste from the public.

Let's all work together and see if we can't make this happen everywhere!

Resource Recovery Station at Local Roots in Wooster