A Hampden-based curbside compost pick-up business aimed at reducing the amount of food waste in Maine landfills is expanding to serve Bangor and Brewer residents. The company, 1 Earth Composting, started by Katie and Matt Saunders, offers a weekly curbside food scrap pick-up service. Subscribers receive a five-gallon bucket to place their organic waste into, then the couple collects the buckets once a week and takes the scraps to a professional composting facility.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates food waste makes up 24 percent of solid municipal refuse that ends up in landfills, and only 4 percent of it gets composted. “We don’t want to put food scraps in the trash because they give off a lot of methane, which is a strong greenhouse gas, plus they take up space in a landfill and you miss out on their nutrients that are good for the soil,” Katie Saunders said.
While other businesses, such as Portland-based Garbage to Garden, offer curbside compost collection elsewhere in Maine, the couple said they felt compelled to begin their own when they realized residents in the Bangor region have no option but to send their waste to a landfill “This is a very underserved area so this is something we hope people will get excited about,” Katie Saunders said.