By: Sara Mack, Marketing Manager

For many, the decision to compost is an individual act designed to decrease one’s carbon footprint. Although individual actions are incredibly important when it comes to banding together to reduce the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change, Courthouse Plaza resident Marissa O’Neill sought an even bigger positive impact when she began her mission to implement a composting program within the apartment complex. 

According to Marissa, prior to using Compost Crew she had been taking her compost to a local drop off site at MOM’s Organic Market. Even though she was able to compost her personal food waste at MOM’s, Marissa told me that she has been working to amplify her personal environmental impact, and was inspired by the idea of taking it to the next level by working to promote composting throughout her apartment building.

Although many of the multi-unit apartment style buildings that compost through Compost Crew ultimately create a pick-up plan under the guidance of building management, Marissa and fellow Courthouse Plaza resident Fran Mahoney worked independently. Because they had a common goal, they were able to gauge interest among other community members and generate a plan that worked for them without having to wait for management.Building residents Marissa and Fran pose outside of the Courthouse Plaza building.

In order to post the survey in the building’s lobby Marissa and Fran did ask the permission of building management. They used this opportunity to plant the seed for storing a compost bin in the loading deck long term. Once they achieved some support from residents through their survey, Marissa and Fran asked the manager if the building would be able to fund the program. Although their request was ultimately denied, the composting duo still plans to expand their program in order to further reduce the cost for current residents with the goal of having the costs covered by the apartment complex at some point in the future. 

After just over two months of separating their food scraps, seven apartments in the complex are participating in the composting pilot program at Courthouse Plaza. Marissa is optimistic that this number will continue to grow, especially as she works with Fran to promote composting to additional residents via the buildings’ physical and virtual bulletin boards. In the meantime, the more residents that sign up the cheaper it will become for participants to sign on. 

There’s no denying that Marissa and Fran were the two heroes behind developing the composting initiative in their community. Working independently allowed Marissa and Fran to jump-start the process with Compost Crew and get their building composting on their own schedule. We can’t wait to see what the future of composting looks like for residents of the Plaza, and we are looking forward to hearing more stories about composting self-starters that are also able to amplify their personal environmental activism for the good of their communities.