Help Bring Bike Composting to Cleveland

Compostadores: Minneapolis, Minnesota

There is a popular thought experiment that goes a little like this: ‘What would you do if you had a million dollars?’ Frankly, I have no idea. A million dollars is something I cannot even fathom. I work two jobs, and fill my ‘free-time’ working to get ideas off the ground so that one day, I can pursue one of these more meaningful endeavors as a full-time gig. So, for the sake of discussion, lets scale things down to a more human scale; ‘What would you do if you had $10,000?”

This is a question I have an answer to!

Starting October 14th Enterprise Community Partners is working with Ohio Savings Bank to provide $10,000 in jump-start funds for an idea. The winner of a fundraising campaign, hosted on CrowdRise, will be the recipient of $10,000 in unrestricted funds. The idea that generates the most funds raised through this campaign will not only receive all the funds they have generated through crowd-sourcing, but get an additional check for $10,000 thanks to Ohio Savings Bank.

According to Mark McDermott, vice-president of Enterprise Community Partners: “The awards are designed to help them take calculated risks and try new projects, providing the resources they need for their transformative ideas to flourish.”

Rust Belt Gardens, in collaboration with Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization, Groundz Recycling, Ohio State University Extension Campus, Bike Cleveland, and Cleveland’s Office of Sustainability are hoping to launch Cleveland’s first human powered, carbon negative, residential compost removal service.

What our group aims to do is build on two of Cleveland’s most radical movements in a complimentary fashion so as to raise the visibility and economy of scale around both our cycling and farming communities as they continue to grow. The business model is anything but new, with its predecessors finding roots in the Twin-Cities, Northhampton, Mass. and Burlington, Vermont to name a few. Residents, and eventually businesses, will have the ability to sign up for a fee-for-service compost removal program based on their needs. If your household produces a lot of food-waste, a weekly pick-up subscription might make sense for you. Perhaps you live alone and would only need your compost removed once a month? Different subscriptions

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will allow for flexibility based on the need of the user.

One Revolution: Burlington, Vermont

What makes this program unique is its commitment to sustainability in every aspect of its planning. By using bikes with custom-built trailers to haul compost we are reducing the overhead cost, virtually eliminating maintenance cost, and doing away with concerns of fuel price fluctuation. Additionally, this service will directly benefit the community it serves by generating compost for community gardens who are committed to providing fresh produce, free of charge, to their neighbors. This close looped cycle reduces community waste, improves community soil content, connects residents to community building projects, and advances the visibility of cycling while birthing one of Cleveland’s only bike-based businesses.

The business will be owned and operated by the cyclists who conduct the pick-up and drop-off. We will be modeling our growth after the wildly successful Pedal People Cooperative who have made over 120,000 pick-ups since 2002.

If you want to help see a new business get the chance to prove itself, to advance a new kind of localism that turns what otherwise would be garbage into a value-added service, please consider donating to Rust Belt Gardens’ crowd-funding campaign. For more information please follow the links below:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bike-Composting-in-DS/586697521367676

Crowdrise: http://www.crowdrise.com/ClevelandBikeComposting/fundraiser/RBGCleveland

Stay in touch as we will be hosting a benefit concert and other community wide events to raise awareness about our cause, our goals and learn from our neighbors as we roll out this project!

For more specific questions/ inquires please email: rustbeltgardens@gmail.com

Thank you for your support, you all rule!

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