By Anna Vellante, Taproom Teammember and Sustainability Liaison
If you’ve ever ordered a pretzel or cider donut at the Redemption Rock taproom, you’ve probably heard a bartender say “make sure to throw your plate and food scraps into the compost when you’re done!”
As a registered Benefit Corporation (and just generally as people), we take our impact on the environment seriously - and our taproom composting system is just one of the practices we’ve put in place to limit our waste.
What is composting, exactly? It’s a more environmentally responsible waste method where, rather than being sent to a landfill to take up precious space or to a recycling facility, certain items like food scraps, food-soiled paper goods, and plant-based plastics are purposefully decomposed into fertile soil -- called compost. Compost is a highly sought-after commodity in gardening and agriculture, so when you compost your waste, you’re not only keeping stuff out of landfills - you’re repurposing your waste into a valuable resource.
Additionally, composting waste helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If organic materials like food scraps are disposed of in a landfill, they create carbon and methane that escapes the landfill and enters the atmosphere. By keeping food scraps and compostable food and beverage containers out of landfills and enabling them to compost - which is an aerobic process that reduces these emissions - we’re simultaneously reducing landfill waste and greenhouse gases.
If you’re interested in composting, getting started is easy. For us, it was as simple as setting up three waste bins labeled “LANDFILL,” “COMPOST,” and “RECYCLE,” and being available to help customers discern what is compostable and what isn’t (in fact, most guests don’t get it right the first time, and that’s okay.)
Our compost is conveniently picked up by a local composting service weekly, and every night all three waste bins are weighed and their poundage is logged on a white board visible to guests (check it out next time you’re in). We track this data in order to educate ourselves about what is actually happening in our waste stream, and with that information we can set further waste reduction goals. Today, we’re diverting almost one-third of our waste from landfills via composting and hope to increase that in the coming months.
Setting up a composting program was pretty simple for us - and if you’re interested in composting on your own, it’s even easier. Her are three things you can do to get started:
If you have a backyard, set up your own composting system. If your space is limited, you can purchase a vermicompost system that fits under your kitchen sink. A dedicated composting area or bin - regardless of the type - won’t take up much space, and it’ll provide amazing soil to use for landscaping or gardening.
Check with your local town/city to see what composting resources they provide. Worcester, for example, provides personal composting bins as well as free compost for residents.
Donate to other composters. Odds are, local farms or neighbors have community composting programs who’d be more than happy to take on compostable scraps. A quick Google search should reveal plenty of options in your area.
For more information about our composting system and other B Corp-related topics, come on down to the Redemption Rock taproom and have a chat with our staff!