Compost Crew aims to turn trash into treasure
County company will generate compost out of residents' organic garbage
Two local entrepreneurs will attempt to create more "full-cycle" consumers in Montgomery County.
Cofounders Stefan Grundmann, of Silver Spring, and Ryan Walter, of Bethesda, will help consumers compost food waste in an effort to prevent organic items from ending up in a landfill through their new business, the Compost Crew.
"People are all buying organic, making smart decisions on the front end," said Grundmann, cofounder of the Compost Crew. "But then they're just throwing it out, and it's going into traditional waste management systems."
The Compost Crew will provide customers with a five-gallon airtight container and biodegradable trash bags to dispose of organic waste. The crew will then pick up the waste every week and deliver it to a farm in western Montgomery County, where it will become compost. The service costs $9 per week.
Every six months, the crew will give each participating customer the option of receiving 10 percent of the weight of waste a customer provides them in the form of high-quality compost. Customers can also choose to donate the compost to the farm where it was processed.
Most people want to be responsible about their impact on the environment, Walter said. But hectic, busy schedules can prevent them from taking all the steps they can, he said.
"We want to help allow people to take that responsibility in their own hands," Walter said.
Yard trimmings and food residuals constitute 23 percent of the United States waste stream, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The service is available in almost all of Montgomery County and parts of Northwest Washington, D.C. Coverage spans 12 zip codes, Grundmann said.
Grundmann and Walter both graduated from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda. Grundmann went on to graduate from Dartmouth College and Walter graduated from Vanderbilt University, both in 2010. The entrepreneurs came up with their business plan this winter and will launch the program in May.
The Compost Crew works like a subscription service. Members sign up online at www.thecompostcrew.com, Grundmann said.
For more information, email info@thecompost
crew.com or call 202-643-0653.