Camping and composting

Now that you are using our service, we want you to be aware and take full advantage of the width and breadth of the items that can be commercially composted. If you look closely at this list on our website, you’ll undoubtedly find an item or two that surprises you.

Our Zero Waste Event Coordinator Grace Hahn appreciates that she can compost to-go containers for some of the restaurants near her apartment. Though she does not have much time to cook at home, it feels good to her that, even with her on-the-go lifestyle, she can make strides toward zero waste.

Erlene Howard, our founder and owner, began the business with her son Kevin. Kevin would wear his work jeans until they were “composting on his body,” she said. She likes that she can cut off the metal parts and compost his 100-percent-cotton blue jeans and t-shirts.

Christine Allender, one of our customer service team representatives, fields a lot of questions from our customers about what can and can’t be commercially composted. Often people are looking for a compostable replacement for something that they routinely use. Some of the newer items that have become available are compostable K-cups, silk dental floss, and compostable dryer sheets. That last one keeps her boyfriend happy. These examples beautifully illustrate that, with commercial composting, you can expand your efforts from the kitchen to the bathroom and laundry room.

Zero Waste Consultant Mary Beth Schaye has always appreciated the fact that pizza boxes can be commercially composted. If you flatten the box, you can put it underneath your bucket for pickup. For residential customers, this is included in your regular pickup fee. She imagines a world where every pizza box is diverted from the landfill!

Our customers have always been great ambassadors for our service. We’d love a bucket in every kitchen, but we’d also like for you to consider if you could compost communally. If you live in an apartment or condo building, you can graduate to one of our 32-gallon totes. You can begin with one tote picked up every two weeks and roll it out that way. If you live in a house and participate in a block party, instead of a salad, you could offer to bring compostable disposables and make your event zero waste by ordering either additional buckets or one of our 32-gallon totes. As always, we’re happy to troubleshoot with you.

Our buckets like to travel, just like you. Though it’d be tricky to take one on an airplane, they fit really well in cars. Instead of skipping your pickup during your vacation, consider taking them with you on camping and road trips. You could pack your food in them for the trip there and your food scraps for the trip back. If you happen to have any uneaten s’mores, we can compost them for you, including the stick. Consider taking your bucket to closer-to-home destinations as well, like concerts in the park and Ravinia, and letting the concert-goers sitting near you share your bucket.

When it comes to composting, more is more.

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.