Compost Crew doubles its customers in 2023

DMV’s food scrap recycling leader powers new DC & Alexandria composting programs

(PRUnderground) February 14th, 2024

Compost Crew Inc., A Benefit Corporation more than doubled the number of customers it services across the Greater Washington, D.C. area in 2023. The company recycled over twenty million pounds of food scraps last year, its best total to date. This growth solidified Compost Crew’s position as the largest food scrap recycling company in the Mid-Atlantic.

Central to the increase in customers was Compost Crew’s selection via competitive bidding processes as the contractor for two separate municipal curbside composting programs launched in 2023. In the District of Columbia, Compost Crew was chosen to collect food scraps from approximately nine thousand participating homes across all eight Wards that registered for the District’s curbside composting pilot. The pilot program has diverted nearly 300 tons of food scraps since collection began for District residents in September 2023.

“The DC Curbside Composting Pilot Program represents a significant step towards increasing access to composting across the District of Columbia and providing residents with more convenient opportunities to reduce their food waste, support the city’s zero waste goals, and contribute to a healthier environment for all,” said DC Department of Public Works Director Timothy Spriggs.

In March 2023, the City of Alexandria began its own curbside composting program with financial support from a USDA grant, and also chose Compost Crew to provide the collection service. This new program motivated over 1,100 Alexandria residents to sign up last year, resulting in over 115 tons of organic material diverted from area landfills.

To continue its ongoing efforts to process food scraps closer to where they are generated, Compost Crew opened a fourth Compost Outpost®, in partnership with Fairfax County’s Solid Waste Management Program. A Compost Outpost provides distributed composting processing capabilities to support local resiliency. The new Outpost, located at the I-66 Transfer Station, processes food waste that County residents drop off at the Transfer Station, as well as additional material collected from local government offices. The nutrient-rich soil amendment that results is then applied on the pollinator garden on the County’s retired landfill, creating a circular system within the County.

In addition, Compost Crew partnered with the City of Greenbelt and the Town of Edmonston in 2023 to start construction on two additional Outposts funded by Composting and Food Waste Reduction grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; these sites will start processing food scraps in 2024.

The company had its best year on record for production of high-quality finished compost from local food scraps and other organic matter. With the growth in production, Compost Crew launched its own brand of finished compost, called Farm Feast, which is available to purchase bagged or in bulk.

A new Maryland law requiring large food waste generators to divert their food scraps took effect at the start of 2023 and helped to drive another strong growth year for Compost Crew’s commercial business. New Maryland commercial customers last year included Home Chef,  Blue Henry and Soft Stuff Distributors.

“As a meal delivery company, reducing food waste – in customers’ homes and within our operations – is a substantial part of how our business lowers its environmental impact,” said Cody Ferrantino, Home Chef’s sustainability and impact program manager. “Working with Compost Crew has allowed us to easily streamline that process at our largest production facility in Baltimore.”

Existing commercial customers like Howard Community College expanded their composting program to additional campus locations, and over a dozen more schools introduced composting to students and staff. Beyond Maryland, new commercial customers included five Inova hospitals and the Park Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C..

Compost Crew’s commitment as a public benefit corporation also extends to educating as many people as possible about the benefits of composting and giving back to our local community. The company’s Composting Fellowship Program teaches participants the science behind composting to prepare them to work in the field. After completing this program, four fellows passed their Maryland Compost Facility Operators exam last year. Compost Crew also gives back to the communities it serves by donating thousands of dollars of free services to area schools and nonprofits. Additionally, Compost Crew participated in one hundred and eighteen community events and farmers markets educating a wide-range of audiences around the DMV on the benefits of composting their food scraps.

To keep pace with the rapid growth, Compost Crew also hired more customer service staff and added 11 new vehicles to its fleet, including the company’s first ever electric vehicle.

“It has been a busy year for our team with significant momentum behind composting in our service area,” said Ben Parry, Compost Crew CEO. “We remain ever grateful for the increasing number of residents, businesses, governments and community leaders who are joining the mission to eliminate food waste.”

About Compost Crew

Compost Crew Inc., A Benefit Corporation is the leading organics recycling company in the DMV. The company provides simple and convenient composting solutions to thousands of businesses, organizations and residential customers throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

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