Where Does Our Food Waste Go?

October 18, 2016

Pictured above: Ryan Green and Adrienne Huckabone of Happy Trash Can

Every week, our food service operations, produce department and coffee shop generate approximately 1,500 pounds of organic food waste. This includes veggies, coffee grounds, bread scraps and egg shells. Where does it all go?

Instead of sending that food to our landfill, we partnered with Happy Trash Can, a local business that provides curbside composting for both residential and commercial operations.  

Happy Trash Can, owned by Ryan Green and Adrienne Huckabone, picks up food scraps from Co-op West Main, Co-op Downtown and the Co-op’s Central Kitchen and Bakery.  

They bring it to Strike Farms, where owner Dylan provides land to process the scraps into compost. The food scraps are mixed with wood shavings from Brander Design; these wood chips are used to help with decomposition.

Dylan then uses the finished product to plant his organically-grown veggies (available seasonally at the Co-op Produce Department and in Co-op prepared foods).

Not only does composting improve soil health and structure but it also reduces carbon emissions. When dumped in a landfill, food quickly rots and becomes a significant source of methane gas.

“The Co-op generates a large amount of food waste,” said Lori Petermann, Co-op Central Kitchen Prepared Foods Manager. “So, it makes sense to recycle that waste as compost and reduce our carbon footprint. It aligns perfectly with our mission to support sustainable practices at every level of our business.”

Interested in learning more about this service for your home? Find out more about their services at Happy Trash Can.