Millions of Americans eat lunch and other meals at work every day of the week, which means each workplace generates some amount of food waste on a regular basis. But instead of sending all the banana peels, bread crusts, and coffee grounds to the landfill with all the other office garbage, why not start a commercial composting program?
As with commercial recycling, starting a composting program at work should not be hard, but it will take some organization and preparation. Here are a few tips to help employees get started.
Get Others on Board
The very first step is to secure approval for a commercial composting program from management. Let them know that the program will be well organized and that it will start small, and be sure to have some research and planning ready to demonstrate.
Once the program has been green-lit, assemble a team of coworkers who share an interest in making the office a greener place and who are prepared to help with the commercial composting program’s planning and implementation.
Research and Planning
Before the program can truly begin, it’s necessary to do some research and logistical planning. Start by examining the life cycle of food waste in the workplace, paying close attention to where food is consumed and thrown out, who takes out the garbage at the end of the day, and what types of containers are currently in use.
It’s also important to consider the big picture. Are there public organic waste collection services available? If not, the composting team will need to find a place to send the compost—community gardens, employees’ personal gardens, and even office landscaping are all great options.
Once the team has determined the scale of the program, including how much waste is generated, what kinds of containers will be needed, and where the compost will go, it’s time to get started.
Commercial composting will look different in each workplace; there may be full-sized compost bins or piles outside, or there may only be small vermicomposting containers indoors. But no matter how large or small the operation is, the key to success is employee participation, so getting everyone knowledgeable and engaged should be a priority.