Grand Rapids' Organicycle works to turn organic waste from homes, businesses into something useful

Many homes and businesses in Grand Rapids already recycle cans, bottles and paper, but even the most conscientious recyclers have had to forego recycling their organic waste like food scraps and used pizza boxes. Until now.

Organicycle (1560 Taylor NW, Grand Rapids) has spent the last few months picking up organic waste from local small and mid-sized businesses, and now the company is preparing to launch a test residential service in select Grand Rapids neighborhoods.

For $7 a week, Organicycle customers receive a 35-, 65- or 96-gal. cart for their organic waste -- which includes food, paper, pet waste, coffee grounds, junk mail, cardboard, lawn and leaf debris, and used paper towel and microwave meal containers. Organicycle picks up the cart weekly and delivers the waste to Spurt Industries to convert to compost.

"Look in the trash in the bin under your office desk, and I guarantee most of it is organic waste," says Dan Tietema, a partner in the business with Justin Swan. "There are leftovers from your lunch and scrap paper. It's pretty easy to separate it; you just need to know what's organic and what's not."

In addition to picking up the waste and diverting it from local landfills, Tietema says the company will consult with businesses to help them educate employees on what items are organic waste, to put together a sustainable program for their business, and help them develop best practices.

Tietema says the residential program is a few weeks off, but the company has wrapped up its study of Grand Rapids neighborhoods and hopes to launch its test program in areas within the Ottawa Hills and the North East Citizen Action neighborhoods, as well as the Breton Village/Calvin College areas.

For more information on Organicycle, click here.

Source: Dan Tietema, Organicycle
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
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