Greener Bay Compost repurposing food waste (2024)

GREEN BAY, Wis.—The number of solid waste municipal landfills has shrunk over the past two decades Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

What You Need To Know

  • Greener Bay Compost is a norteastern Wisconsin residential and commerical compost pickup service

  • The company has diverted thousands of pounds of food scraps

  • Customers place food scraps into a company-provided five gallon bucket with lid to help absorb moisture and control odor

  • Greener Bay Compost said it wants toexpand into Fox Valley area

A northeastern Wisconsin businessman is looking to maximize landfill space by finding another use for food waste.

By hauling food waste in white buckets, Cory Groshek is helping to keep it out of Wisconsin’s solid waste municipal landfills.

Groshek is the owner of Greener Bay Compost, a waste management service in Green Bay.

“We take people’s food scraps and associated organics, and we convert it into compost, which is a really wonderful soil amendment,” Groshek said.

Groshek is a backyard gardener, who originally started collecting food scraps to improve his soil quality.

In 2021, Groshek turned his hobby into a company, collectingfood waste from a mix of 16 residences and businesses.

Now, Groshek said he drives to over 200 clients.

“Our goal really is to divert as much food scraps, organics and other compostable materials from our local landfills as possible,” Groshek said.

Lana Bianchi is a client of Greener Bay Compost. She owns Pepperboy Pizza. Bianchi’s been in business for five months.

In that short amount of time,Lana said she was surprised at how many scraps her business had tossed out.

“We have generated about 500 pounds of waste, just with our little bucket,” Bianchi said.

Bianchi said she’s pleased to know her food waste is being used to improve the environment.

“It was just something we didn’t even think twice about and we’re happy to be a part of it,” Bianchi said.

Groshek takes the buckets filled with food waste to private land in northeastern Wisconsin to add to other composting piles. Groshek said he’s collected a lot of waste.

“We’ve diverted now over 154,000 pounds. So that’s over 70 tons of food scraps and associated organics just in the last two and a half years,” Groshek said.

The DNR reported in 2002 there were 39 municipal solid waste landfills. Over the years, seven of them have reached capacity and closed.

Groshek is looking to expand and collect food waste from other areas around Wisconsin such as the Fox Valley

“When I actually keep this material out of the landfill, I see it not just as helping myself and my neighbors do what I love to do, but also doing a great thing for the environment,” Groshek said.

Greener Bay Compost repurposing food waste (2024)


Can I just throw vegetable scraps in my garden? ›

Below, I've listed some of the most common food scraps that you can throw directly onto the soil. Almost any natural fruit skin or leafy vegetable scraps can be tossed onto your topsoil.

What food cannot be composted? ›

Composting Don'ts

Don't add fish, meat, dairy products, bones, baked goods, fatty foods or grease to your compost pile. These food scraps do not easily decompose and may attract animals.

Why can't you put cooked food in compost? ›

Attract Pests: Rats, bees, biting flies, bears, and other pesky scavengers are attracted to the smell, which can lead to a whole new set of problems! Turn to Mush: Cooked foods easily putrefy and turn mushy and gross, which is not only unpleasant but interferes with proper aeration of the pile.

Can you put rotting food in compost? ›

You can add moldy food (vegetables and fruits only) to a backyard composting bin anytime. Mold cells are just one of the many different types of microorganisms that take care of decomposition and are fine in a backyard bin. If you're using a worm bin, you have to be a bit more careful.

Can banana peels be composted? ›

Yes, you definitely can. Bananas are organic matter and so are their peels, so feel free to include these in your compost materials. Your garden and the environment will thank you!

Can you put onion peels in compost? ›

Onion peels are considered to be 'brown matter', which is an essential component in a compost system. The paper-like outer covering of an onion is so light and delicate that it will rapidly break down in any composting system, even a worm bin.

Are coffee grounds good for compost? ›

Yes, coffee grounds can be composted and are a valuable addition to a compost pile. What are the benefits of composting coffee grounds? Composting coffee grounds adds valuable nitrogen to the compost, which helps to break down other organic matter and create a nutrient-rich soil amendment.

What slows down composting? ›

Prolonged periods of dryness might slow the composting process down, but it will pick up again once with the first soaking downpour. Nor do you need to concern yourself with the carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratio — the mixture of “brown” and “green” materials that make up the pile.

What happens when you don't compost? ›

When food and other organic materials decompose in a landfill where anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions are present, bacteria break down the materials and generate methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Why is compost not composting? ›

Too dry a pile may cause the composting process to slow down. Too wet a pile may create an anaerobic environment, which can cause bad odors and also slow down decomposition. Water your pile (or add more wet materials) if it becomes too dry, and add carbon-heavy browns if it becomes too wet.

What fruit should not be composted? ›

Some fruits and vegetables that you should compost with caution are those with high acidities, such as citrus fruits, pickles, and tomatoes. The acid content of these foods can kill the good bacteria in your compost pile and slow down its decomposition.

Can paper towels be composted? ›

If you have compost bins in nearby locations, take the paper towel there! Paper towel and napkins ARE compostable (not recyclable).

Can you compost potato peels? ›

Yes, potato peels are compostable. In fact they contain higher concentrations of potassium and iron and calcium than are present in the interior of the potato. For heap or pile composting however, you'll want to exclude peels that are rotting or diseased as these can fester further before they break down.

Can you put vegetable peelings in garden? ›

Vegetable peels

Throw them in a container with some water, then leave for at least 24 hours before pouring the liquid into your garden soil. Potato peels are rich in nutrients like magnesium and phosphorus which are essential for plants' growth. You can do the same with carrot peels, too!

Why can't I put vegetable peelings in my garden waste bin? ›

Why can I not put food waste and fruit and vegetable peelings in my bin? Regulations introduced to prevent the spread of diseases like Foot and Mouth limit the materials that can be composted in the open air.

How long does it take for vegetable scraps to decompose in soil? ›

Buried food scraps may take from two to six months to decompose, depending on soil temperature, moisture, worm population and what is buried. In good garden soil, leafy greens will break down in weeks while citrus peels may persist for several months.

Can I put compost directly in my garden? ›

You can sprinkle compost on top or mix it into your flower and vegetable beds, gently rake compost into tree beds, blend it with potting soil to revitalize indoor plants, or spread it on top of the soil on your lawn as a soil amendment.

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