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We're launching a bike-powered food waste pickup program! The Beacon Compost Project is going to transform waste into community.
248 backers pledged $20,129 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$20,129

248

Food waste is being wasted.

Nationwide, 40% of what we incinerate or landfill is organic material that could be turned into compost: a healthy, nutrient-rich soil that can be used to grow food, create jobs, and generate revenue.

Beacon is an amazing little city of 16,000, and many of our residents already use their backyards to compost. But business owners, apartment dwellers, and renters want to compost too!

Our goal is to educate the public about composting and provide a pick-up service that builds community and diverts compostable material from the waste stream.

Phase One (the pilot):

  • Zero to Go staff will collect food waste from homes and businesses with electric-assist cargo bicycles that can handle up to 1,000 lbs.

  • Staff will pedal the loads to our staging area near Main Street and place what's been collected into large totes.

  • Every week, Empire Zero, our partner carting company, will pick up Beacon's collected material and drop if off at farms and industrial compost facilities in the area.

Do you want this too? We're not budging on these ideals:

  • developing our city's composting culture

  • building permanent composting infrastructure in Beacon

  • using the right equipment to make composting successful and easy

  • creating jobs that pay people in our community a living wage

  • proving that purpose-built bicycles are capable of heavy hauling

We need your help. Your donation will:

  • Provide the project with 10 industrial totes for our hauler, the staff to pedal our heavy duty trike to your door, and scales to weigh every bag we collect.
  • Outfit pilot-participating homes and businesses with 30 Compokeeper units, 30 buckets, 4 indoor use kitchen cans for businesses, and 4 heavy-duty outdoor use receptacles for businesses.
  • Launch this project! Help us start picking up material and collecting data so we can grow to serve more residents and businesses in Beacon. 

Phase 2 + 3, Closing the Loop:

Once we get the pilot off the ground, we'll scale up based on two-months' worth of data and experience. By phase three, we'll be working towards building local composting infrastructure to further reduce our emissions, and close the loop. Closing the loop means we'll be returning healthy compost and soil products back to the farms and gardeners who grow the food in our community. We plan to have our own composting facility in 2016.

Thank you for investing in Beacon's sustainability!

Risks and challenges

(1) Pricing: We are pricing our service based on the projected volume, and cost of materials, staff, insurance, and ongoing maintenance. However, residents in Beacon are not accustomed to paying upfront for waste removal because it's built into our taxes. As waste disposal costs are rising across the country and food waste remains unaddressed, we think it's critical to build a composting program in response. Many Beaconites agree and are backyard composting already, but our service aims to address apartment dwellers and businesses. Our pricing, $40 for residences and $105 for businesses, raises questions of equity and access to this service. Through the help of the initial participants, who we consider early investors, we will be able to scale up and run an efficient and increasingly cost effective program that grows to be accessible citywide.

(2) Training + feedback: Identifying the correct feedback system for participants and our staff will take time. We want to continuously improve our trainings for our participants, especially in commercial kitchens, to make sure composting is easy and it's easy for us to catch any mistakes. Like everything else, this pilot is intended to test our approach and refine it.

(3) Routes: Only by actually running the routes will we be able to make the routes faster and more streamlined for our pick up staff. Additionally, we will be testing the locations for participants to leave their food waste outside for pick up to ensure that it is undisturbed, not collected with regular garbage and recycling, and easy to access by our staff.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Zero to Go reusable food storage container from Preserve Products, a Certified B Corporation just like us

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    50 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Zero to Go reusable food storage container from Preserve Products + Zero to Go t-shirt

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    66 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 95 or more About US$ 95

    Reusable bento box from Takenaka + utensil kit

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    17 backers
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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Large canvas Zero to Go tote bag from ECOBAGS, a local Certified B Corporation just like us + Zero to Go reusable food storage container from Preserve Products

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    15 backers
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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Reusable picnic set from Preserve Products (pack for 20): includes plates, bowls, cups, and utensils in an insulated picnic bag

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    1 backer
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Source Reduction Consultation

    I'll come to your home or talk to you on the phone and help you to refine your waste, recycling, and compost methods.

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    4 backers
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Funding period

- (17 days)