Five Easy Steps for Small Businesses To Get Into the Game of Composting

Composting involves breaking down organic waste, (anything that was once alive), much more quickly than the earth would do naturally. Composting is a great way to cut down on waste that would otherwise end up in landfills and can serve as a great natural fertilizer to help any garden flourish. It’s free and self-serve. Plus for small businesses, composting can be great for public relations. Small businesses can compost in just 5 easy steps.

One: Educate yourself. Every small business should have a Team Expert that knows the basic compost ingredients and recipe. In short, composting requires browns (leaves), greens (grass), air and water plus whatever organic waste the small business creates. The recipe involves a combination of chopping, mixing and maintaining moisture.

Two: Conduct a waste audit. Before you can being, you should inventory all of the compostable materials that your business produces and how much it produces. This will help to get bids on disposal costs and inform decisions about compost size. Common culprits include things like paper towels, napkins, coffee filters and food scraps.

Three: Select a composting system. A short way to think about this is composting bins come in small, medium and large and range in their complexity and effectiveness. A “backyard bin” is the smallest, most economical, and requires the least amount of space. A “multi-bin system” requires more space and may need a front-end loader for turning, but is more effective with large volumes of compost. Finally, a “turned windrow system” is the most sophisticated and most costly.

Four: Foster internal support. Your Team Leader won’t need to perform the day to day composting, but should be willing to spend a few hours each week educating and motivating employees. Focusing on the big “community” picture, promoting friendly competitions and using awards and recognition are a great way to get staff on board.

Five: Make a plan. Selecting a site to compost is probably the most important part of your plan. Identify spaces that have easy access, are flat, near a water source, and be sure to consider the “smell” factor. Then, make a budget which includes costs for bins, equipments/tools, labor and disposal costs, the latter if you’re not planning to keep and use your nutrient-rich compost once it’s ready!

Now, you’re ready to kick off your composting campaign! Post signs around compost bins and consider holding an event to raise awareness and generate excitement.

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