first trip

There’s a new compost program available to families in the bungalow neighborhoods.

Katie Shannon and Alex Stringfellow, two graduate students from Rollins College, have started Compost Orlando (Website | Facebook).

Compost Orlando has two programs; a residential pickup program and a community drop-off program.

They compost the scraps into soil and give it to community gardens or back to the families, if they want it. The amount of food scraps they are collecting was enough to get Shannon thinking about a larger impact.

“We are piloting this because we want it to happen in Orlando,” Alex Stringfellow said. “It’s already happening everywhere, including Gainesville and it’s a no brainer from an environmental standpoint.”

They are taking to the streets on a bicycle to collect food scraps. She says by biking, they’re not adding to emissions.

The pickup program is available to families in Audubon Park, Colonialtown and Baldwin Park and costs $25 a month.

For residents who live outside those neighborhoods, you can signup for the drop-off program. For nine dollars a month, you drop off your scraps at three drop-off locations : Audubon Park Covenant Church on Sunday morning (10:30 a.m.), the Audubon Park Community Garden on Saturday (10:30 a.m.), or the Mills 50 Community Market on Tuesday (4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.).

Both programs include food-grade bucket and liners.

Why compost? They say it reduces global warming’s impact. Americans throw out $165 billion worth of food each year. Nearly 74 percent of food waste winds up in a landfill, accounting for almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions, contributing to global warming.

“An average person wastes about 20 pounds of food a month,” Shannon said. “This averages about 17.5 pounds per household per week in Audubon Park alone. This is huge.”

The next step for Compost Orlando is to get local restaurants on board and to start a local gardening effort. Last week the duo planted edibles at Audubon Park Community Garden. They hope to donate food they grow with the compost to local food banks.

“We only started a month ago and we already on pace to have 100 people participating in one year,” Stringfellow said. “And that’s on the smaller side of our estimates.”

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  1. This makes me so happy, so very happy! I just started composting and I
    just feel amazing not having to toss my food scraps in the garbage.
    Most of my meals consist of fruits and veggies, so most of my waste is
    all food. If anyone is looking for locally organic produce, check out
    the Homegrown Co-op on Princeton and Orange:

  2. What a wonderful program!  I love that starting small has already made such an incredible impact.  Keep up the good word and others will have to catch on soon!  I just got this new thing called a CompoKeeper and it has helped me out because I drop my compost off (similar to this program) but the bag holds 6 gallons so it lasts me all week.