How does one celebrate diverting 5000 tons of organic waste out of the landfill and into making healthy, useful compost? By thanking everyone who got us to this milestone, of course.

The vital need for composting your food scraps wasn’t always an easy sell. There were some lean years when we heard, “I have to pay for this service?” and “Shouldn’t you be paying me for my food scraps?” more than we heard “How can I sign up?” Now there is a greater awareness that this practice is not optional if we are to combat climate change. Momentum is building.

Where do we begin our thanks? Perhaps at the very beginning, nearly a decade ago.

Thank you to the first bucket customers, neighbors really, that Erlene serviced out of the trunk of her Toyota Camry.

Buckets being loaded into CRI’s only transportation vehicle in 2010 – Erlene’s Camry!

Thank you to our first restaurant, Tweet. Thank you to our 20 current employees and the dozens of others over the years who’ve helped us grow. Thank you to Delta Institute for introducing us to Merchandise Mart, whom we serviced for years. Thank you to Independent Recycling, who continue to choose us as their food scrap hauling subcontractor. Thank you to the organizations that gave us the F-SCRAP grant and the Green America People & Planet award. Thank you to all of the journalists who have chosen to acknowledge our work and helped us to reach a bigger audience. Thank you to all of the local Go Green groups who have promoted our service to their networks. Thank you to the City of Evanston who gave us our first municipal franchise agreement.

And thank you to all of our current customers, some of whom have been with us since the Camry days. These days we move 30 tons a week and that brings us to the remarkable grand total of 5000 tons to-date!

So, what does 5,000 tons look like? Let’s do the math.

One ton = 2000 lbs.

5000 tons = 10 million lbs.

Each full Collective Resource 5-gallon bucket averages 30 lbs.

Each full Collective Resource 32-gallon tote averages 85 lbs.

If you’re one of our individual residential customers, it’s the equivalent of 333,333 full 5-gallon orange buckets. Do you use a 32-gallon tote? Imagine 117,647 of those!

Whew! Let the celebration begin. Just make sure you use compostable products! 😉

Author Details
Zero Waste Consultant , Collective Resource, Inc

Mary Beth strongly believes that, “It’s always better to be doing something rather than nothing.” If you’re thinking of composting at home, she can help you work out what your particular “something” can be.

She’s confident a solution can be tailored to fit anyone’s needs and ambitions. “Anyone who eats can be a CRI customer, whether you are an individual or a large organization. I want you to understand the advantages of composting, and I can show you how CRI can make it easy.” Mary Beth has successfully designed waste diversion strategies for individuals, schools, houses of worship and other communities. She’s received the governor’s Environmental Hero award for her work at her daughter’s school. Whether you’re starting with a backyard bin, a kitchen bucket, a worm farm, or large-scale commercial collection, Mary Beth can be your good-natured guide.