As a resident of a second story apartment, Tyler Frank was frustrated that he did not have the space or ability to compost his food waste. In August 2012, his frustration turned to inspiration as he recognized that many city dwellers were facing similar problems. Thus, Garbage to Garden was born.
Garbage to Garden, located in Portland, Maine, is a curbside composting service that provides businesses and individuals with an accessible way to recycle food scraps. According to their website, “Garbage to Garden is the most successful market-based curbside composting company in the Northeast, servicing over 5,000 households, schools, restaurants, businesses and events throughout Maine and Massachusetts. The ethos of Garbage to Garden is rooted in the spirit of sustainability and supporting the local economy while making composting for the masses as approachable as possible.”
They partner with other local businesses to maximize the sustainability of their business. The used coconut oil collected from households, schools, restaurants, and businesses is sent to Main Standard Biofuels where it is turned into biofuel and soap. This is the same soap used to clean the buckets that are provided to Garbage to Garden customers. The rest of the food scraps are taken to a local farm for composting. Program participants may receive as much as 1 bag of finished compost a week, upon request.
Garbage to Gardens has many volunteer positions, from community education to membership referrals, they are committed to providing locals with opportunities to receive free compost services while helping their city achieve maximum sustainability.
“Today, 1 in 7 households in Portland choose to participate with Garbage to Garden.” Their website states. This just goes to show the impact that businesses and locals can have on their communities and, in turn, the environment. Bravo to Tyler Frank as well as the volunteers and community members who are making sustainability a priority in their city.