Students Go Green With Community Compost Company
What do you do?
We're a group of dedicated environmentalists committed to restoring the earth through recycling food scraps. Our table-to-farm collection service composts organic materials to enrich the soil. We service residents, businesses and institutions in Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ and areas of Ulster County, NY. Through our service, we engage with the local community to shed light on why composting is an important tool in mitigating the effects of climate change. The soil products we create are available through our brand Hudson Soil Company.
Who do you do it for?
We do it for anyone interested in helping the earth by diverting their waste from landfills. We work with residents, businesses and institutions in New Jersey and the Hudson Valley of NY. Our commercial customers include Bucket and Bay and Subia’s Cafe in Jersey City and All Saints Episcopal Day School in Hoboken.
students we work with are so enthusiastic
The students we work with are so enthusiastic about composting and learning how they can make the planet a better place. The Head of All Saints School, Jill Singleton reported that many of the students even asked for compost bins last holiday season! When children are exposed to composting at school they often inspire their parents to begin composting at home. We’re excited that we can instill this knowledge and passion that will remain through their lives.
Why do you do it?
Up to 66% of all waste going into landfills is organic material and 25-30% of that is food waste. When organic materials break down in landfills it creates methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Composting food scraps not only decreases greenhouse gas emissions, but it creates a useful soil amendment which helps sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
Our goal is to reduce the amount of organic materials going into landfills by increasing accessibility to composting. The service is designed to give people the opportunity to compost who wouldn’t otherwise be able to. We educate our customers on the value of reducing food waste in their home or business.
With our brand Hudson Soil Company, we are creating beneficial soil products that will be sold in the local community to boost the health of soil, which will grow stronger, nutrient rich plants.
How did you start?
The company was founded in 2013 by Eileen Banyra, a lifelong environmentalist and city planner by profession. The prospect of a green business that would affirmatively address climate change while supporting food resiliency and soil enhancement, led her to pursue food scrap collection and composting. Co-Founder Noa Simons, joined Eileen in 2014, adding her business expertise to both advance these ideals and pursue her own passion for agriculturally-based local business.
We started our service by setting up food scrap drop spots at farmers’ markets where people could bring their compostable material. At the drop spots we were able to connect with longtime composters and people who were completely new to the concept. We received so much enthusiasm that we were able to expand that into a door-to-door pick up service.
We were lucky enough to be accepted into Glynwood’s Farm Business Incubator program in 2014, that helps start up agriculture businesses by providing access to land. Our main compost site is on this incubator farm, arguably the most beautiful farm in New Paltz, NY, located at the foothills of the Shawangunk Ridge.
What makes it unique?
you realize how much food you throw away
Many don’t realize that garbage from our area is shipped to a landfill in West Virginia. We help to make towns and cities more sustainable by removing and processing this material locally and in an ecological way. Our commercial customers save on waste removal costs by composting. Residents also benefit, by saving money on their grocery bill through reducing food waste. When you separate food for composting, you realize how much food you throw away, which inspires a change in shopping habits to better fit your needs. We educate our youth by providing an opportunity for in-school composting.
Plus, we are both a collection service and compost production company so we experience the full cycle of the material breaking down into a nutrient rich soil amendment.
What do you love about it?
We love that we can empower our customers to help make the world a better place and do their part to mitigate climate change. We are passionate about sustainability, so the fact that we can help our community make strides in that direction is really important to us!
Compost also has so many benefits:
- It retains water, which reduces watering needs and prevents erosion and flooding
- Boosts plant health and eliminates the need for chemical fertilizer
- Deters pests, and much more!
How do you make learning awesome?
helping students to reconnect with the earth
We make learning awesome by helping students to reconnect with the earth and learn how to nurture it. Our service provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to incorporate composting into their curriculum. The large bins we provide are used the kitchen areas of the school, while our smaller, portable buckets are perfect for in-class use during lunch or snack.
Education is a crucial piece in letting people know why composting is so important. Through newsletters and social media we touch on a wide range of topics surrounding composting, food waste reduction, agriculture and sustainability, so our customers get a well-rounded view of the issues.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Our service is currently available in Hoboken, Jersey City and areas of Ulster County, NY.