Fighting waste & building strong soil

- Kat Nigro, CompostNow


Everything we do comes back to the Earth. In fact, you could say that soil has quite literally helped shape my life.

I grew up on a farm in rural Tennessee, so healthy soil was always a focus. So much so, that when I went to the University of North Carolina, I studied Environmental Science. In all my studies, soil stewardship was a primary focus. After university, my travels abroad (to Nepal and Europe) further inspired my love of compost and the importance of waste reduction, where I was able to see how other countries were able to divert inedible food waste from the landfill and, instead, return those nutrients back into the soil. Food scraps, blemished areas of otherwise perfect produce and other post-meal food waste can be powerful additions to building strong soil and a zero waste system.


When I returned to North Carolina, I was inspired to change what my community viewed as "waste" and help them see the value in composting. I was thrilled to join the team at CompostNow because their mission of building healthy soil in communities aligned with my values. Our members are driving change in our state and beyond, and I wanted to be a part of the compost movement with them!

There are a lot of people out there who do not have the time, space or energy to compost in their backyard, but still want to make an impact with their food scraps. So we strive to make composting clean, easy and convenient. Our goal is to empower community members and businesses to divert their compostables from the landfill, so that we can use those nutrients to build healthy soil in our community. To date, our members have diverted more than 5,975,000 pounds of compostables from the landfill and have created more than 2,504,700 pounds of compost for local use!


We believe that we can strengthen our local food system by returning nutrients back into our soil to grow healthy and vibrant food. Our members and businesses are able to share their earned compost with local community gardens and urban farms through our Garden Partner Program.


And because we work with commercial facilities, we can compost more than just fruits and veggies. We’re able to get our compost piles to the temperature (at least 160 degrees!) required to eliminate pathogens and weed seeds and break down difficult materials. This means we can even accept hard-to-compost materials such as meat, dairy, paper towels, compostable serviceware and pizza boxes.

By focusing on connecting those who create compost with those who use it to grow healthy food in our community, we are truly able to complete the food cycle.  Because sometimes, it’s not enough to just think about where our food comes from, but also to consider where it is ultimately going.

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