Back to the Farm

10/25/2021

A local company is working to help make composting more accessible and sustainable. Table to Farm Compost provides resources, transportation, and information on composting and the benefits for the community. Interviews with co-owners Monique DiGiorgio and Taylor Hanson, Operations Director Chris Cullaz and Driver Jeremy Church. Sponsored by Closets Plus and Tafoya Barrett and Associates

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Composting really transforms your kitchen and your house in terms of how much trash you're creating. If you're recycling and composting.

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My name's Taylor Hanson. I am the co-owner and managing member, and co-managing member, of Table to Farm Compost. I partnered with my business partner, Monique, in 2019, the summer of 2019. At that point in time, Table to Farm Compost had been in existence for about three years. We recently partnered with the city of Durango to increase service. The goal is to have community-wide compost in the next three years.

Sure, when people think of Table to Farm Compost, the primary thing we do is come to your door and pick up food scraps, which is awesome. There's a whole cycle that happens after we pick up those food scraps. So we're actually reducing waste in the community from a couple different places. The food scraps from a residences, home, or commercial facility is one piece of the puzzle, and then the carbon and the wood scraps that we use from places like Timber Age and Durango Wood Company are the other piece of the puzzle. We make compost, and then that goes back onto gardens or onto farms, and back into the soil. Our business is engaged in that whole piece from, you know, coming and picking up the food scraps, to making the compost, to selling the compost, and getting it back out onto the ground.

We give people a five-gallon bucket. They're green buckets, they say Table to Farm Compost, and they're bright green buckets. We pick up those buckets once a week, and in the buckets, you can include all of your household food scraps. So veggie scraps and other kind of organic food scrappy type materials.

I drive by every day. We have routes. It's usually on your recycle day, and we pick up the green bucket, dump it in our trailer over here, and I bring it out here to the farm.

And then after Jeremy dumps the trailer at the end of the day, it gets mixed into one of the piles that we have going back here. We start a new pile roughly every two months, and it's added to a certain amount of our wood chips here, which is our carbon to offset the nitrogen, and right now we use about like a 50/50 blend of wood chips to food waste in order to get a good final product. And it sits here for several months and we measure temperatures every single day. We're looking to hit a certain temperature for at least 15 consecutive days, and that temperature is 131 degrees Fahrenheit. So over that time period, I flip the piles to make sure that we don't have like little parts of the pile that aren't composting 'cause to get that full homogenous mixture in there, we want to make sure it's well mixed over the time period or the lifetime of the pile.

Just really sharing with people how impactful diverting organic waste can be. It's anywhere from 20 to 40% of the waste stream. And when that waste product goes to the landfill, it creates methane, which is a greenhouse gas that's 72 to 84 times as potent as carbon dioxide. So there's kind of a cool multiplier effect when you reduce waste that's going to the landfill and you're able to keep those methane emissions out of the air.

It feels like there's a lot of overwhelming amount of information these days, and it feels sometimes that with climate change and the current state of the world, that there's not a lot people can do to make a difference. Some people feel like just, you know, recycling doesn't make that big of a difference or buying the organic food at the grocery store doesn't make that big of a difference, but composting can actually make a pretty big difference in the way we manage our waste and the way we look at the whole waste stream.

It's super easy to sign up. All you have to do is go to tabletofarmcompost.com, put your physical address into the box, and it's like three steps. We'll show up at your door less than a week later with a bucket and you'll get going. It's really easy.

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