December 14th, 2020: The Compost Company is currently seeking bids from qualified contractors for the construction of a new Materials Processing pad. This new pad shall be a 100’ x 100’ concrete pad, and will include a durable cover constructed with 2 side walls, open endwalls and a roof structure with minimum 20′ eve height and 30′ peak. Concrete floor pad must be at minimum 6″ reinforced concrete. All bids should be submitted so that any associated engineering and wall/roof construction work is included in the bid price. All bidders must be licensed, bonded and insured. Bidders may bid on all or a portion of the work, but preference will be given to bidders who can perform all the necessary work for job completion. All bids are required to be submitted by 4:30 PM CDT on January 1, 2021.
Hear from Compost Company’s Clay Ezell on the Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge and how The Compost Company is on track to divert almost 10 million pounds of organic waste this year.
Once you’re looking for compostable materials, you see them everywhere.
“Unofficially anything that was once alive is compostable. It can be treated instead of trashed,” said Clay Ezell, Co-owner of The Compost Company.
The Compost Company is the only fully-permitted commercial composting facility in Middle Tennessee.
Clay and Jeffery Ezell run the company, on a farm, located just outside Nashville in Ashland City.
Together, they are changing the way Nashville businesses collect and recycle.
“In a perfect world everyone would take care of their own but we handle the commercial waist for the most part. And that’s going to give places like the Farmers’ Market or hotels, or restaurants, grocery stores an outlet for that. Because they don’t have a place to process it on their own,” he said.
Just since April the Nashville Farmers’ Market has composted nearly 80,000 pounds. They’ve even started to use utensils that can be broken down.
“So instead of a traditional plastic there are plastic cups that are made of corn and we can take and process those and turn them back into a soil product,” he said.
Tasha Kenard is the Executive Director at the Nashville Farmers’ Market.
She says composting is getting them closer to their goal of becoming a zero-waste facility by 2020.
“They’re helping us find new ways to reduce our waste,” she said.
The waste collected at the market actually comes full circle. Once it’s collected and taken to get processed it comes back in the form of soil and is later sold as bagged compost at the market or used on area farms.
For more information click here.
Nashville Public Radio | Emily Siner
When Nashville residents drop off their glass bottles, paint cans and old batteries to recycle, they can now also bring food scraps.
The mayor’s office announced Friday that residents can drop off compostable material at the Omohundro and East Convenience Centers. Sustainability manager Mary Beth Ikard says the city audited its waste stream earlier this year and saw a big opportunity.
“The summer season audit showed that over a third of our waste going to landfill is perfectly compostable organics,” Ikard said. “We have a huge opportunity to divert food from landfill.”
The Tennessean | Lizzy Alfs
Popular Nashville tourist attraction hopes to reduce its carbon footprint by donating food, composting and growing vegetables
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has fed nearly 8,000 hungry people with excess food donated from its kitchens since late December, said Karl Ebert, the museum’s associate director of operations.
The popular tourist and event attraction in downtown Nashville has ramped up its food waste initiative by giving its leftover food to the Nashville Rescue Mission and by starting a composting program.
Since Feb. 22, museum officials estimate, the kitchen staff has composted 10,324 pounds of material.
“We are such a big organization and we produce so much food — we do over 400 catered events annually — and the food that’s left over was often ending up in the trash,” Ebert said. “Adding an extra step to reduce what goes into the trash and putting it to something that could be a better use, like composting, which gets put back into the community and reduces our carbon footprint, just makes the most sense.”
The museum is one of more than 50 Nashville restaurants and venues participating in Mayor Megan Barry’s first-of-its-kind Food Saver Challenge, which runs through May. Participants range from Opry Entertainment and the Hilton Garden Inn to Strategic Hospitality and Dozen Bakery.
BioCycle | Dan Emerson
A Nashville, Tennessee area entrepreneur gradually grows the Compost Company, servicing more food scraps generators and expanding end product markets.
In 2011, Edward Wansing launched the Compost Company in Ashland City, Tennessee, the first organics recycler in the mid-state region around Nashville. Wansing, who grew up on a farm and pursued a career in sustainable architecture, saw a need for recycling of organic waste in the growing Nashville area. “Before I started the company, I spent a number of months talking to area waste haulers and recyclers, to gauge local interest,” he explains.
Wansing also contacted several area municipalities, tree trimmers and line clearing contractors to line up sources of carbon in the form of tree and yard trimmings. Today, Compost Company has contracts to receive wood waste from the city of Clarksville, one major contractor (ABC Tree) and a number of smaller firms. The Compost Company also had been receiving mostly preconsumer produce from a local Walmart and Sam’s Club. Over time, however, preconsumer produce waste has become less available as a composting ingredient, with more of it being used for animal feed by local farmers.
“We have been diversifying our feedstocks by implementing our own hauling service and expanding into new areas,” Wansing notes. “We are becoming more independent of the larger waste haulers, to better control our supply of incoming feedstock.” The Compost Company found interest among several large generators, including the Music City Center convention facility (which generated an estimated 8 tons of organic waste last year, according to the Center’s annual report), along with several Nashville office buildings and food processors. It also services hotels and conference centers that host events producing large amounts of postconsumer food and paper packaging and serving waste, as well as compostable bioplastic serviceware.
Nashville Business Journal | E.J. Boyer
Local entrepreneurs Edward Wansing and Clay Ezell are betting on the “garbage revolution” coming to Nashville. And they’ve landed a pretty big first client: Music City Center.
Their startup venture, The Compost Co., raised $165,000 in May to fund equipment upgrades at their 37-acre Ashland City composting site. The duo also signed a deal to compost the chicken dinners at the new convention center. In fiscal year 2014, the convention center served 786 banquet dinners and generated an estimated 8 tons of compostable waste, according to its annual report.
Until recently, composting in the U.S. has largely been led on the grassroots level, but now, municipalities and large, private industry waste producers like sporting arenas and grocery stores are seeing the benefits.
New York City announced plans this week to expand its residential composting program to an additional 33,000 houses, part of Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s plan to have all NYC residents composting by 2018. New York is one of a handful of large American cities that has passed regulations in recent years requiring residents to compost, the process that recycles organic waste (think, food scraps) into a nutrient-rich soil. In Seattle, starting this year, if you don’t compost, you get fined.
The Tennessean | Reade Pickert
Nashville’s Music City Center has signed a contract with The Compost Company to increase its focus on sustainability.
Located in Ashland City, The Compost Company converts organic waste, such as paper products, food and yard waste, into sustainable products like compost and mulch. Founded in 2011, The Compost Company processes more than 200 tons of waste per month. Its clients already include Caterpillar Financial Services Corp., and the city of Clarksville.
The Music City Center has pushed sustainability with a 360,000-gallon rainwater collection system, a four-acre green roof and 845 solar panels.
Adding the partnership with The Compost Company follows the Music City Center’s effort to minimize its carbon footprint, center officials said. The Compost Company will start handling Music City Center waste in July.
“We’re kind of the ‘It’ city right now, but how do we keep that and grow,” Music City Center Sustainability Coordinator Amanda Robinson said. “I think being sustainable is a huge part of that.”
The Sustainability Network |
Tennessee Creates a Circular Economy Around Composting
With more than 300 food related industries in Tennessee, waste management can be a considerable – and costly – challenge. Composting agricultural byproducts can be a cost-effective, sustainable solution that takes production waste out of landfills and puts it back into the soil.
The Compost Company in Ashland City, Tenn., is turning organic waste products into a high-yield compost material for farmers, landscapers, and gardeners.
Ed Wansing, founder and COO, along with company president Clay Ezell, owns and operates The Compost Company LLC. Operating a large composting facility can appear deceptively simple, but, “There’s more to the recipe than just dumping organics on the ground,” said Ezell. “The mix is really important. We take great care to mix the proper amounts of carbon and nitrogen so that it breaks down quickly, with little odor, and becomes the best natural fertilizer it can be.”
The temperature of the compost is also very important, and is partially dependent upon the mixture of materials in the compost. While using a probe to measure the temperature of the steaming piles of compost, Ezell added that, “Sight, smell, and consistency are our primary metrics.” Proper temperature, as well as the correct ratio of carbon to nitrogen, guarantees that those three metrics remain correct, and that the compost does not smell bad.
Customers of The Compost Company include Caterpillar, US Smokeless and Organix, a vendor to Wal-Mart. Nashville’s new Music City Center, which has its own sustainability management plan, provides feedstock to The Compost Company, as well, which includes food prep waste, compostable plates, box lunches, and paper towels and napkins.
The bulk of The Compost Company’s customers includes farmers, landscapers, and gardeners, “but there have been some surprises as well,” adds Wansing. “The most unusual use of our product was by a pet food facility for a bio-filter. They built the bio-filter to clean the air before discharge from the facility (to minimize odor).” The Compost Company has also sold compost for use in several rain gardens that filter stormwater runoff from parking lots before it enters the watershed.