Business resources for recycling and composting in Decatur Georgia

What are your suggestions for a business looking to drop off recycling and compost in Decatur? I received this email from April Higdon with Bistro in a Box not too long ago:

Hi, I found your blog and we are a catering company in Decatur and we are trying to turn our operations green with hopes of eventually becoming zero waste.  We are trying to find locations where we (and our customers) can drop off items to be recycled.

Also we are going to begin composting and have inquired with Oakhurst Community Garden about dropping off items there.  Do you know of any other locations where we can drop items in case we have more items than they can handle?

We are also looking at using the compostable cups, plates, and utensils so I am curious to see how your experiment with the cup from Inman Festival is going.

Thanks for your help.

April Higdon
Bistro in a Box
307 E College Ave, Suite B, Decatur GA, 30030
Office 404.941.7799

Below is my response to April with my suggestions. I’m interested to hear your ideas! Soon, I will be researching corporate recycling resources in Decatur and Atlanta (such as Waste Management, etc.).

Thanks for your email! That’s great that you’re moving your business towards being more green – I get pretty excited about recycling at work and enjoy composting at home. When it comes to recycling, it depends on what you’re looking to recycle. The DeKalb Farmers Market is probably one of the closest locations to you for recycling and they take just about everything, it just needs to be separated out. Emory also has a program (which they operate out of the CVS parking lot in Emory Village). DeKalb also does curbside pick-up, so I actually bring all of my office’s recycling home and mix it in with my own and put it out for pick-up. But I imagine with a catering company, you’ll have recycling on a much bigger scale! I’ll look into corporate recycling programs to see if there’s any sort of pick-up service for businesses.

As for composting, you could also try the Lake Claire Land Trust up the road – are you familiar with it? Also, I would check with local schools that have gardens to see if they have compost piles and could use extra compost (I posted a blog about school gardens a while back). The same thing goes for universities like Agnes Scott and Emory – they may have compost piles, too.

DeKalb Farmers Market has a compost pile and I know they give classes, so you might want to check with them and ask if they accept “donations” from other businesses. DeKalb County itself also has a commercial composting facility where residents of the county can go pick up free compost (click here for the website), so you might want to check with them to see if they’ll accept your contributions.

Depending on how your space is structured, you could even keep a decent-sized compost bin and offer for Decatur neighbors to come help themselves for their gardens, which keeps you interacting with the community and could increase awareness of your catering business. And that means you don’t have to make trips anywhere, assuming enough people come to pick up (and we do have a lot of gardeners around here!).

Oh, and one more thing. Do you serve coffee when you’re catering? Because a business called JavaSoil is staring up here in Atlanta, which is a fertilizer made from used coffee grounds. They’ve been recruiting local coffee houses in Decatur and Virginia Highland to recycle their old grounds with them and, if you’re interested, I can put the two of you in touch and you could give him your old grounds, too.

If you know of additional resources, please leave a comment below – and I’ll continue to research it myself, too!

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