The Path Ahead: Reflections on 2018 and a look at 2019

As years end and new ones begin, we often find ourselves in a fairly reflective place. We’d like to take a moment to reflect on 2018 and share with you some of our plans for 2019.

As anyone who has started an organization themself will know, this journey comes with lots of highs, lots of lows, and very little in between. 2018 was no different for us. We had lots of success and learned from lots of failures. That’s just the way things go! We’d like to share some of our successes with you, and the things that we are a looking back on as a team with our heads held high as 2018 has come to a close!

By the numbers:

  • We now serve over 100 clients across Northeast Ohio

  • We are collecting and diverting over 32,000 pounds of food scraps each week from landfills as of December, 2018. This is an increase from 18,000 pounds per week just a year earlier.  

  • We launched our Community Supported Composting program and have over 80 active members!

  • We fully transitioned away from plastics and now only use compostable bags and liners.

  • Inside Baseball Disclosure: We successfully lobbied the Ohio EPA to adopt a rule change to support community composting efforts like ours. Each parcel in Ohio can now have up to 500 square feet of active compost at any one time, an increase of 200 square feet!

What these numbers don’t capture is the massive growth we’ve made internally as an organization. We’ve made huge strides in process improvement, operational sophistication, and communications. As a team, we read the book Traction, by Gino Wickman (highly recommended!) and have put together clear, measurable, and time-bound goals for all members of our team. These goals are rooted in core company values that are informed by our mission and vision as an organization. These efforts have made the growth we have experienced, and plan to experience in the future, possible in the first place. We now have a road map, process indicators, and are running more like a fine-tuned machine than ever before.

Photo from ILSR

Photo from ILSR

It’s because of this progress that we are so excited to share with you some of our goals for the new year. 2019 is going to make the progress we made in 2018 look like a snail’s pace. Here is some of what’s in store:

  • Residential Composting is coming to Cleveland in the Summer of 2019!

    • This subscription service will bring the services our business and organizational partners have enjoyed for years to residents.

      • If you haven’t yet completed out survey, please do so HERE!

    • We will have two subscription options: To-your-door weekly pick up and multiple community-based drop-off locations.

      • If you know of a great location for a drop point in your community, let us know!

      • Our existing Community Supported Composting membership payment option has also been upgraded to make joining the fight against food waste easier. Now, you can elect a monthly subscription option rather than the one-time annual payment option.

Garbage to Garden in Portland, Maine: Community Compost Drop Site!

Garbage to Garden in Portland, Maine: Community Compost Drop Site!

  • New Product Launch. We have spent the past year improving and refining our soil blends to better serve you. We are thrilled to be launching our new product line: ‘tilth’. Tilth will provide the home gardener, urban farmer, and houseplant enthusiast with the highest quality planting mediums available, each with a base of high-quality compost created from the food waste we collect and divert from landfills.

    • Our first products will include:

      • Potting Mix: Sprout

      • Compost: Grow

      • Mulch: Base

    • More details coming soon!

      • Tell us where you get your soil blends: online, retail, home and garden stores? We want to put our products where you can access them! Let us know in the comments below!

  • We are planning to triple the number of businesses and organizations we serve so if your place of work wants to join the fight against food waste, reach out today!

  • We are going to formally become a B-Corp.

    • We got into this business to show that social enterprises can make a meaningful impact on a social ill and make some money while doing it. As we continue to grow we want to ensure that we can invest in the things that keep people and the planet central to our mission.

  • Carbon Neutrality Commitment.

    • We are committing ourselves to being at worst carbon neutral and at best, carbon negative by the end of 2019. This means all emissions we produce through daily operations will be offset or avoided in some way.

Like we said, there is a lot we have in store for you this year. We hope you will stick around and join us for the journey. We are so excited about what the future holds and hope you are too!

We would also like to thank each and every one of our clients, advisers, and families.

Here is to 2019!