One of the biggest challenges compostable haulers face when determining whether or not residential collection is feasible has to do with the cost of handling and logistics. Though most households produce between 1-5 gallons of food scraps per week, it would be too costly for us to offer a 5-gallon (or other small bin) collection service.
In discussions with several members of the community, we have decided that we will instead offer 32-gallon rolling totes to be shared between participating households. Our green totes look like a smaller version of your rolling recycling and trash bins, and are sealed to be leak-proof. In the hotter months, we will provide a second bin with a blended “cap” material, which helps reduce odors and insect activity.
We are calling this the “Adopt-a-tote” strategy. We are hopeful that some members of this community will be willing to devote a small footprint of space at the end of their driveway where neighbors can dump their personal compost bins. We will collect totes once per week, exchanging them for washed and sterilized totes.
As an essential business, providing necessary products for the production of food, we will do all we can to stay open and fully operational throughout the response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our employees are following strict guidelines regarding personal hygiene. We are wearing gloves and masks, limiting our non-essential interactions, disinfecting surfaces and public spaces, and working from home if/when possible.
Our new tote washing facility utilizes a 140° high pressure washing system with biodegradable detergent injected into the stream. We handle all totes with gloves at all times. Participants in this program should wear gloves when opening the communal tote, and wait at least 6 feet away from the tote if someone else is dumping their compostables in it. We will disinfect the cap material scoop once per week when we collect the compostable bin, but gloves should also be worn whenever the scoop is used.
In this time of increased vigilance surrounding hygiene, we think that offering this service can be done in a safe manner, as long as participants do their part to adhere to these basic guidelines.
If you think you have adequate space to host a tote, please email or call us! Ideally, we would like tote adoptees to also be able to help coordinate with neighbors to help spread the word about the program. Our initial intention was that tote-hosts would help us to educate their neighbors and help us eliminate the inclusion of contaminants.
Until this virus has run its course and we are able to freely socialize and interact with one-another, we would like to speak with any member intending to utilize our tote collection program. Tote hosts can direct any neighbors looking to utilize the bins to us for a quick overview of accepted materials and best practices.
The following page is a list of accepted materials, and some that are not. We will provide laminated versions of this guide on or next to the totes to make it as easy as possible for members to adhere to our guidelines.
Compostables Collection Coordinator
March 26, 2020, 12:25 p.m.