The Downtown Team of Mothers Out Front, a vibrant grassroots organization best known for its advocacy to eliminate large gas leaks and transition off of fossil fuels, recently hosted an educational webinar extolling the many benefits of residential composting in the city of Boston. The webinar was the first effort in a new campaign by Mothers Out Front to add city-wide compost pick-up services to Boston’s current trash and recycling schedule. The advocacy group believes that like San Francisco, Austin Texas, and Seattle, Boston could greatly benefit by adding curbside composting to its waste management practices.
Andy Brooks, CEO and founder of Bootstrap Compost, a local compost pick-up service company, led the webinar, which had over 50 attendees. Bootstrap currently serves 65 residents on Beacon Hill and operates throughout southern New England. Brooks illustrated how composting produces healthy soil for local gardens and farms. He also dispelled the myths that composting in one’s home creates bad aromas and attracts unwanted pests. His company, as others, provides their customers with a clean bucket with a tight-fitting lid. Customers collect their leftover food scraps, including vegetables, coffee grounds, egg shells, dead flowers, even meat and dairy products. The tight-sealing lid prevents any offending odor from escaping the bucket. Bootstrap collects these buckets every Tuesday morning, leaving behind a fresh container. Customers report a decrease in the amount of trash that they put outside on the sidewalk each Monday and Friday morning. By eliminating leftover food from easily opened trash bags, the rat population is denied their biweekly “dine and dash” opportunity.
Bootstrap collects almost 28,000 pounds of organic material annually from Beacon Hill alone and regionally diverts 1.3 million pounds of organic material from Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island landfills. These amounts would greatly increase should the city provide this service to its residents. Diverting these materials from already overflowing landfills would not only reduce costs for the city, but would also reduce methane gas emissions.
Interest in this practice is growing. Councilor Kenzie Bok has ordered a hearing to discuss matters relating to recycling, composting and waste services in the City of Boston. The hearing is scheduled for March 28 at 2 p.m. Mothers Out Front plans to testify in support of citywide composting. With companies like Andy Brook’s Bootstrap Compost seeing an increase in customers, Mothers Out Front believes it is time to add Boston’s name to a growing list of environmentally savvy cities, diverting valuable resources away from landfills and into healthy soils for our city parks, farms and gardens.