Durham-based composting company runs on pedal power


DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A company aimed at helping the environment is taking off in Durham.

Tilthy Rich is a composting service that runs on pedal power.

When Betsy Albright makes dinner, she takes one extra step – placing her food scraps into a five-gallon bucket.

Once a week the bucket is picked up, by bicycle , as part of a composting service by Durham-based Tilthy Rich.

“This year alone we’ve moved more than 115,000 pounds of food scraps and we have a diverted that from the landfill. So 115,000 pounds of food we’ve turned into compost,” said Kat Nigro, general manager of Tilthy Rich.

The scraps are taken to a community garden like the Geer Street Garden, which grows food for the non-traditional food bank, Interfaith Food Shuttle

“Tilthy rich picks up compost materials – so food scraps from the surrounding community businesses, homes – and then bring it to us.

Twice a week we get about 500 pounds of raw food scraps, flip it in our compost system,” explained Eliza Bordley with the Interfaith Food Shuttle.

The process of converting scraps to compost takes about three months.

When it’s done, it’s used in the community garden.

Tilthy Rich users can also get compost back twice a year.

About 300 Durham residents use the service as do nearly a dozen businesses who want to make sure even their scraps don’t go to waste.

“We reuse as much as we can. We recycle as much as we can. We compost what we can which leaves very little in the landfill that we actually produce,” said Bart Westdorp of Global Breath Yoga Studio said.

Betsy Albright added, “There are a lot of nutrients in food waste and I think dumping them into a landfill is a waste of space. It’s a waste of nutrients.”

Residential service costs about $20 a month.

If you’d like to learn more, click here.

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