The name of this local small-business could not be more appropriate for the message behind their action – Let Us Compost: starving landfills since 2012. Kristen Baskin is the creator of Let Us Compost, a curbside composting service in Athens that collects the compost of local businesses and residential homes. Small businesses like this are the reason Athens continues to be what it is today, a place of creative and motivated people pursuing and promoting what they believe. This small business consists of three vital parts and three vital people: Mikey the operator, Corey the driver, and Kristen the business organizer.
Baskin and I met at a small cafe called Dondero’s Kitchen. Not only does Dondero’s have a composting bin in the kitchen for the staff to use, it also has a bin in the cafe area for its customers to use. Let Us Compost picks up composting from both homes and businesses. They provide the compost bucket and biodegradable bags and run a weekly pick-up and re-supply of bags. Since Baskin’s business started, she has acquired 140 residential homes and 35 businesses that use her service. Dondero’s is taking the first step in implementing the on-site composing service and will serve as a model for the other businesses that use Let Us Compost. They are located on the corner of Millege and Cobb, so stop by for lunch for a chance to see first hand how Let Us Compost. The space is lovely and the food is delicious!
When I asked Baskin what her vision behind Let Us Compost is, she told me about how she comes from a long line of entrepreneurial family members who all started their own businesses. “I see it as a way to pursue the change you want to see in the world,” she said smiling. Baskin attended graduate school at Future Generations where part of the program entailed pursuing a project that students believed would help the community in some way. After traveling to India and observing the piles of trash polluting the streets, Baskin realized that those same piles of trash existed in her own town; they just were not as visible and were all in one location—a landfill. She felt moved to do something about it. The piles of trash in India were an every day reminder to her that something should and could be done in her own town to stretch beyond the limitations of a landfill to create something more sustainable and practical. After growing up in a home that composted, Baskin was familiar enough with the process to be able to find a way that she could not only dispose of her own compost but also the compost of the people in her community.
Athens-Clark County alone produced 67,140 tons of trash in 2013. The recycling facility has helped relieve the compilation of trash immensely, and Kristen’s composting service has helped even more. Characteristic of our town, Athens has responded positively to Baskin’s efforts to create a healthier and less-contaminated city, and her business continues to grow. Let Us Compost has grown significantly, even in the past couple of months, and Baskin’s vision for the future expands with her business. Part of her vision includes an addition of CityPod, an easy way for the people of Athens to take their composting to a central location where it can be turned into a finished product in 6-8 weeks. She is also working on a way to teach people how to compost.
Athens has a reputation for being a progressive and environmentally friendly city, and Baskin has created one more way for this city to be in the foreground of sustainability.
Interested in learning more about Let Us Compost?
Come to the Let Us Compost Day at the Landfill. It is the First Annual City Wide Tour and is hosted by Suki Janssen and Kristen Baskin. There will be light refreshments provided and an opportunity to sign up for service and soil-back.
WHEN: November 12th at 10am
WHERE: 5700 Lexington Rd
Questions: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Meg Taylor.