Edited by: Sara Mack, Marketing Manager

It’s our birthday! As of April 6th, Compost Crew has been fighting food waste in the DMV for 10 whole years. To mark this milestone, we wanted to highlight some of our most loyal subscribers who have been . For our first post in this series we chatted with Wendy about her experience composting with us and her perspective on sustainability and reducing food waste. 

Compost Crew: What inspired you to begin composting with us? 

Wendy: Ten years ago I was actively food blogging and developing vegetable forward recipes, and began to read more about food politics and saw that we are part of a food system that includes the environmental effects of how we grow and eat and dispose of  our food waste. But, I didn’t feel that we had the right space and distance from neighbors to compost for ourselves. I think I first talked to someone from Compost Crew at the  Bethesda Central Farm Market, and thought I’d support this new business run by some local grads. At the time I signed on with Compost Crew, I thought the County would soon begin covering the cost of compost collection—it made so much sense—and I  figured I’d only be paying for the service for a short time. ☺ 

Compost Crew: 10 years is a long time! How has your life changed over the past decade? 

Wendy: My kids grew up and out of our house, so we use much less food now (or did until 2020 Covid times

). There were a few years when I taught youth cooking classes through a County after-school program and did free food demos for local not for profits, and would bring home the food scraps and compostable sampling cups to compost. During those times, even with a small household, I kept my bin pretty full. It was a great way to show people, especially the kids, tips for avoiding food waste and keeping a compost bowl as we went along. There was a great opportunity to both model the behavior as well as share a little environmental science with students. 

Compost Crew: How has composting changed your perspective about food waste in general? 

Wendy: Composting has helped me to see how much each household can do to help.  Between some waste reduction habits and composting, we drastically reduced our garbage output. My first approach is always to avoid wasting food, but there are always some things that need to go out and often life gets in the way and composting is the backstop that gives back to the soil.  

Compost Crew: How do you use your finished compost? 

Wendy: I spread it in my small vegetable and herb garden. 

Compost Crew: If you had to guess, how many tons of food waste do you think you have diverted from  landfills? 

Wendy: I’m really not sure–I’ve had a mostly full bin every week for ten years! 

(Editor’s note: over the past 10 years Wendy and her family have composted approximately 2.5 tons of organic waste — that’s as much as four and a half polar bears!)

We would like to offer our sincere thanks to Wendy and her family for their support over the past 10 years and for their part in helping to rescue food from landfills to help improve our local soils. Stay tuned for more in this series in the coming days as we continue to celebrate our anniversary!