Down To Earth Composting is a neighborhood food waste collection service that picks up household composting from customers in the southwest, downtown, midtown, and university neighborhoods of Reno and returns the soil produced from the compost twice a year to their collection service customers. They also provide a composting drop off system for those outside this service area. Not only does Down to Earth provide residential composting, it also services Reno completely by bike (this means that when you place your composting bucket outside your door for weekly pickup, one of Down to Earth’s trusty staff members is cycling your way!).
Garrett Menghini, Down To Earth’s owner and Director of Growth, founded the business after a stint as an engineer at SpaceX. When asked about this change in direction, Garrett told Nevada Recycles that he realized that “sustainable actions, thoughts, and lifestyles seemed like the most important thing to do”. To Garrett, working in the engineering field felt like he was pursuing solutions for a “backup planet” instead of focusing on sustainable living on our own planet. This philosophy led to the start of Down To Earth Composting.
In the year since they began operating, Down To Earth estimates they have diverted 28,000 lbs of food waste from the landfill, collecting 1,300-1,400 lbs of compostable scraps per week. Currently, they accept almost all compostable items besides meat and dairy. Tinian Vandergriff, Director of Operations at Down To Earth, addressed why this business is so meaningful to her and Garrett.
“We both think composting is really quite amazing. Through the decomposition process we are able to turn inedible food bits and other organic material into a product that stores nutrients into the soil and helps soil retain water. The fact that our service gives back and builds up the community rather than takes from it is an awesome bonus! This business model makes us feel proud of the work we do every day.”
Down To Earth is focused on incorporating sustainable living into the Reno community, and they hope for more businesses and individuals to follow suit. For many, it can be overwhelming to tackle environmental issues when your attention is geared toward the larger-scale problems facing the world today. Instead, focusing on things you can control like diverting your food waste or biking instead of driving are impactful ways to address these overarching issues in a more local setting.
As Garrett put it, “there is no shortage for resources out there to do it, you just have to do it”. And a resource like Down To Earth Composting is just one of the many things you can use to start implementing more sustainable practices into your everyday life and the Nevada community.
Check out Down To Earth Composting at www.downtoearthcomposting.com.
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