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Earth-conscious clients keep compost company busy

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Posted at 7:35 PM, May 30, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — When Heather Lawson observed a composting program in Boulder, Colorado, she says she was fascinated.

“But I didn't really understand the impact, so I did some research,” Lawson said. “I found that our food waste doesn't break down in the landfill.”

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Lawson came across research of archaeologist William Rathje.

“He did archaeological digs on landfills across the United States,” Lawson said.

Rathje discovered food, sometimes decades old, buried deep inside landfills, often in a pristine state.

“All of our food was just being interned because there was no oxygen and no moisture to allow it to break down,” Lawson said. “The problem with that is that it's taking up space in landfill, and it's putting off methane and carbon the whole time it sits there.”

Lawson says it leaves mankind with a choice: allow these gasses to seep into the environment for decades, or compost our food scraps into a usable and beneficial product.

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Enter Earth Mama Compost.

“We pick up food waste from homes and businesses [and] we take it to Green Cycle and Green Cycle composts it and then sells it to landscapers and gardeners,” Lawson said. “They mix the browns and the greens.”

Items like grass clippings, dead plants, sticks and leaves are mixed with the food waste collected by the Earth Mama team.

Here's how Earth Mama Compost works

“And then everything just breaks down building a healthy loam that you can use in the garden,” Lawson said. “A half an inch of compost can enrich the soil to a depth of six feet, so it’s replenishing our carbon trap that is our soil.”

Lawson says Earth Mama Compost continues to grow thanks to her clients.

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“I think the biggest change that I've seen is more people that care,” Lawson said. “It's on the radar for more people and it's been amazing. I think once you know that you can make an impact, and you find out how easy it can be to make that impact, then you just do it.”

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