Hartford, Connecticut-based Blue Earth Compost has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund its new custom-made food scrap collection dump truck. The campaign aims to raise $20,000 through discounted residential subscriptions. Nearly $2,000 was raised on the first day of the campaign, which runs through March 22.
After five years and more than 4.4 million pounds of food scraps diverted, the family-owned company says it is positioned to be the largest diverter of food scraps in Connecticut. The company started in a garage with 20 residential customers and has grown to offer customized food scrap collection services to more than 275 residential customers and 70 commercial collection locations.
Blue Earth Compost financed its compost collection truck through a $133,000 loan from the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The truck, manufactured by Ohio-based Brown Industrial, is complete and will more than double the firm’s hauling capacity, but the small company says it needs funding to put the truck on the road.
In addition to the collection truck, Blue Earth says it has invested in an electric-assisted tricycle to help with residential collections thanks to a partnership with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and Hartford-based bicycle company BiCi Co.
According to DEEP, 384,682 tons of food scraps were generated statewide in 2014. Connecticut has a goal of diverting 60 percent of its municipal solid waste (MSW) through reductions, reuse, recycling and composting by 2024. Blue Earth’s project aims to scale commercial and residential composting services throughout the state.
“The impact and need for composting is huge,” Blue Earth’s owner and operator Alexander Williams says. “For every 35 pounds of food Blue Earth Compost diverts from incineration, we mitigate the environmental equivalent of burning a gallon of gas, and we are able to create renewable energy and compost for growing more food.”
“If Connecticut wants to get serious about tackling our waste problems, then we as a community need to start diverting food scraps on a much larger scale,” he adds.