Saturday, July 21, 2018

Making the Most of Compost: Garbage to Garden

Anyone who's been hanging around for a while knows I was an avid composter back in the day, when I was teaching at Eagle Cove School. There, we had the Fort Knox of Compost... a 3-part system where we composted our school lunches, creating soil along the way. Doing so, along with our regular recycling, created virtually no classroom trash. (School-wide, we had a little more, but still, a very low-trash work environment.) Later, this compost turned to soil which was used for our greenhouse and our flower beds.

I was one of the handful of teachers who also used the school compost for my home food waste--which of course brought in a slightly different composition and quantity to the school compost bin. Being at a small school, I was widely known for my Infamous Compost Bucket, joke-worthy and legendary!

When the school closed, one of the many losses was my reliance on ECS's compost. We tried the backyard variety, but critters outsmarted us by digging under, and now it has been relegated to yard waste alone.

Given all of this, I'm in love with the Garbage to Garden program in Portland, Maine. Every community should be embracing this level of innovation.

Garbage to Garden has been a curbside compost service in Portland since 2012. The buckets are reminiscent of my own 5 gallon camo bucket! Creator Tyler Frank started it as a grassroots movement, sprung up from conversations with his roommates and put into action on a very small scale with a sign up at a local art festival. From there, it has grown to service 5,000 households, schools, and businesses from Maine to Massachusetts. Maryland! Come to Maryland! You can request cities as they are expanding, but I think I might be a bit far from their farm.

My favorite part too is that once you are on board with them, you can also request soil deliveries, created from compost. A sustainable, closed loop!

To learn more, check out Garbage to Garden's website!

 Videos from and; All photos from

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