- An organics composting startup based in Cleveland, OH was awarded a $20,000 grant from Social Enterprise Accelerator (SEA) Change of Northeast Ohio.
- The hauler, Rust Belt Riders Composting, collects food waste by bike from local restaurants, schools and homes. The cycles are outfitted with trailers that are equipped to transport the organics.
- The worker-owned co-op said the funds will be used to manage customer relations, streamline billing. and add more bicycles and trailers to its lo-fi fleet.
Daniel Brown, one of the startups’ co-founders said the business arose from need. The founding members of the company operated a community garden, but it had poor soil quality. They wound up spending money on soil amendment until they realized composting would solve the issue.
All of the founders were employed at restaurants and took note of the substantial amount of waste being thrown into the garbage. They decided to divert the scraps and put them to use in the garden. Rust Belt Riders Composting started charging restaurants for its services and clients lined up to enroll in the program.
Since June 2014, the company collected over 50,000 pounds of organics from 50 clients. The startup is in talks with a member of the city council about implementing a pilot program and are discussing working on legislation to provide incentives for businesses to compost.