A Ton of Waste Diverted – Literally

Meeting awesome Kansans, distributing little green bins, turning a compost heap with local news cameras watching – it’s been a very productive first 30 days!

In mid-October, we officially launched a mission to reduce food waste and improve access to local agriculture. The reception has been incredible – folks love that they can massively reduce how much waste they produce AND contribute to local agriculture in one easy step. Now we are part of a growing community that currently spans Olathe, Overland Park, Shawnee, and KCK.

All of that food waste, plus leaves from the neighborhood and spent coffee grounds (thanks, Starbucks!) has really added up in what we affectionately call “Bin no. 1”. Thanks to the microorganisms within, there is a lot of nature happening in there! The bin has been HOT, with it’s highest internal temp of 150F logged on the coldest night so far (11F). Well before spring, Bin no. 1 will be 2,000 pounds of finished, aged compost headed for a Kansas community garden.

On that coldest of days for our composting operation, we were visited by Nathan Vickers working on a KCTV5 report on hard work that still happens when it’s freezing. Be sure to give your postal carrier or waste management crew a high five the next time you see them this winter! Nathan got to experience a couple of surprises firsthand: 1. our compost absolutely does not stink, and 2. the steam coming from a 150F degree compost heap in the freezing weather is pretty impressive!

So what’s next for those who share in the mission of Food Cycle KC? Getting more folks involved. “More is less.” As in, more folks putting their food waste into a little green bin is less waste going to the landfill necessarily. Please, share your experience with a neighbor, and challenge them to give it a try. Ask your barista what they do with their spent coffee grounds. Composting is easy, but you make the mission possible.

Thank you all,
Food Cycle KC

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