By Chris Bavender
Heather Maybury started her curbside composting business in 2013 with $300 and a Honda Civic.
“Because once you get an idea in your mind, no one can tell you no,” Maybury said. “That first year I made sure to stay out of my competitor – Earth Mama’s – area because she was there first. So, when she got out of the business (in 2014), she called me and said, ‘I know you treat your customers right. Would you like to buy me out?’ At that point, I was a stay-at-home mom and had a whole six clients after a year.”
Now, in addition to Marion County and Carmel, Earth Mama Compost is offering a curbside compost pilot program to up to 200 clients in Zionsville and Whitestown at a monthly cost of $20 per resident. The pilot includes bi-weekly residential curbside service and compost starter kits. A grant from the Boone County Solid Waste Management is helping pay for community education on composting.
“I want people who already compost to feel like they are making a huge difference and people who want to compost to have the access and empower them to make the change for the better,” Maybury said. “There are so many people in neighborhoods with covenants against composting or they have too small a yard and would love to compost and feel guilty about throwing trash away, so I want to give them an option so they know their food waste is going for good.”
Maybury collects an average of two tons of food waste a a week. It is taken to Green Cycle, where it’s composted and sold to landscapers, farmers and others.
“If you’re concerned about the environment, composting is actually on the list of the top 80 ways to reverse climate change,” she said. “It reduces the time the food waste takes to break down, and by doing so, it reduces the amount of methane gas and carbon dioxide as it breaks down. We are always talking about our carbon footprint, and by composting, it really affects that.”