Compost Pedallers, Austin TX

YEAR: 2012
TYPE OF SYSTEM: Compost
AREA FOR SYSTEM: 48 sqft
(3 bins connected)
CLIMATE: Humid Subtropical
WASTE TREATED: 
Organic
SCALE: Neighborhood Districts
WASTE DIVERTED:
410,000 Tons since 2012

Case Study Background

Goals of Compost Pedallers is to compost almost everything in the region closest to where it is produced, this collected from homes and businesses.  The waste is then transported via bike to nearby farms + community gardens to grow local food.  These hosts are called CompHosts. The initially amount of people participating in the program in 2012 was 30 residences and now the program has over 500 residences. Typical membership costs about $16/month with pedallers making $10/hr with incentives at local stores. Data was unavailable for waste diverted per year and the individual amount of waste diverted by district.

The Process:

Compost Pedallers breaks down their process into 4 different stages

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Image LINK:

Creating Districts: Process organics as locally as possible. Each district is a self sustaining organism.

Establishing Hubs: The hub is a node to manage the flow of organic resources in the surrounding district.

Partnering with Comphosts: The hosts accept organic matter, turn it into comphosts. The compost is used in the production of local food.

Designing Biking Routes: Instead of burning fossil fuels ton transport the waste via diesel trucks, cargo bikes are used to shuttle the organics to the nearby composting sites.

Implications:

There were no negative implications to this business and due to its success so far Compost Pedaller is expanding. This system seems to work because of the climate of Austin but also the generally flat geography of the city.

Policies + Resources:

There are many programs and resources in Austin right now that are focusing on composting and zero waste programs. None of them benefit Compost Pedallers in general but provide a great generalization of the mindset of people living in Austin and their attitudes towards compost and zero waste. A link to some of Austin’s compost and zero waste programs. where you can learn about the rebate program and other amazing programs Austin has going for itself.

Districts:

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Map Link:

Compost Pedallers broke down into 8 districts where Comphosts are located to keep the waste nearby. They are represented by the multicolored image with the yellow circle being the office of Compost Pedallers.

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Map Link:

Compost Pedallers has a large span of businesses that it receives waste from.

System:

The Trikes- 800 pounds of organics

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Image LINK:

Tricycles are used as the shuttle from homes and businesses to nearby gardens. Biking keeps the resources local, creates local jobs, eliminates fossil fuels and maximizes efficiency. By using the Trikes, 27,000 gallons of fuel have been saved since 2012 because of bicycling and with 2,250,000 calories expended from pedallers, making the citizens healthy + Austin environment friendly.

The comphosts usually have a compost wood pile where the compost is set.  They layer the compost with a green/brown layer system and the system itself aerates to keep the compost from smelling. The green layers are nitrogen wet materials (Food Scraps, Fresh manure, grass clippings), brown layers are carbon dry materials (Brown leaves, straw, soiled paper, saw dust, woodchips). A link for some more information about composting can be found here.  Each layer is about 2″-4″ of waste with soil being layered into the recipe.

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Stakeholders:

The stakeholders include Dustin Fedako and Eric Goff who started the program back in 2012.  Compost Pedallers is a for profit organization.

If you are interested in knowing more about Compost Pedallers follow this link. There you can learn more about the pedallers and interesting facts about the benefits of being a member are.

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