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Local Compost Community

By Paul Rutkovsky

Compost Community is a relatively new small business that Tallahassee can’t do without. Since March of 2013, Sundiata Ameh-El has been providing a much needed service in the Big Bend region–composting. Sundiata collects organic waste materials from our residential kitchens, restaurants, and other businesses that normally dump compostable matter into the landfill. Becoming aware as a community that composting is a necessity, not a frivolous hobby, will go a long way towards reducing our wasteful habits. We generally don’t think about putting banana peels or any organic plant remains in the garbage. However, many cities and smaller communities in the United States and globally are beginning to compost a greater percentage of their waste.

San Francisco passed a municipal ordinance in 2009 requiring citywide source separation of all organic materials, the first large-scale urban food waste and composting program in the country. The ordinance has helped reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions to nearly 12 percent below 1990 levels; it also catapulted San Francisco to a nation-leading 78 percent waste diversion rate.

Since Tallahassee has no composting program and most people simply throw their organic waste into the “everything big bin,” Compost Community is a must-have resource for our region.

What makes Sundiata’s presence even more valuable to our region is his motivation to create more community gardens and to encourage all people to participate, not just those with leisure time. Organic whole foods should be affordable and available to all. Compost Community has been actively involved with the Dent Street Diggers Community Garden in the historic district of Frenchtown. Please visit their Facebook site to see how they’re transforming a vacant lot into a productive healthy garden.

The quote below from Compost Community’s website says it best.

“Compost Community is a network of urban professionals dedicated to strengthening the local food supply in the Tallahassee and Big Bend area. We are involved in building communities, encouraging and strengthening new and existing partnerships, protecting the environment, reducing city and county expenditures on waste and having FUN doing it!”

If you have an interest in composting and would like to divert your organic waste from the landfill to a health-giving community resource, contact Sundiata here.

All information for this article came from an interview with Sundiata Ameh-El and Compost Community’s website.

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