Cook, Compost, Garden, Repeat

By / Photography By Ryan Green | December 28, 2016
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Matthew Beadlecomb (Beadle), co-founder/co-owner of Compost Nashville

Send your food scraps to the garden via compost pile, rather than the landfill.


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Let’s face it, composting is not sexy. But, then again, neither is methane – a potent greenhouse gas–wafting from food waste stuffed into landfills. According to the EPA, food waste takes up more space in municipal landfills–some twenty percent–than even plastic. This is a problem. Not only is limited landfill taken up, but a valuable resource is lost. Food waste, for those who missed that day in science class, forms the raw material for REALLY good soil.

Fortunately, here in Nashville, the food-waste-to-landfill-problem is being met by a bucket of solutions. Literally. One man holding some of those buckets is Matthew Beadlecomb, co-founder and co-owner of Compost Nashville, a rapidly growing residential and business composting service. Begun in April of 2014 with a good dream, an old Toyota, and two residential customers, Compost Nashville now diverts some 20,000 pounds of compostable waste each month from Nashville’s landfills. “We’ve come together with two simple goals in mind:” Matthew, a.k.a. “Beadle” says, “to divert as much food waste as possible from our landfills and to transform that material into rich, fertile soil.”

So how does it work? Kale stems, apple cores, squash skins, dryer lint, coffee grounds, and tea bags–even chicken bones–go into a 5-pound plastic bucket furnished by Compost Nashville. Beadle picks up the compost bucket with said food scraps, replaces it with a clean one, and away it goes, diverting all those food scraps from Music City’s landfills. “I want people to know,” Beadle says, “that we’re a small, local business with the future of Nashville in our best interests.” The more food waste we can divert from Nashville’s landfills, the cleaner and more sustainable Nashville will be. But the best interests of the city is not all that is in it for Compost Nashville’s growing list of community-minded citizens. Not only do subscribers receive cool swag like bumper stickers and fridge magnets, but also premium-quality compost delivered twice yearly to their own home gardens. (Subscribers who don’t wish to garden may donate their hyper-fertile dirt to those who do.) “The more I learned about soil, the more I understood that soil is the foundation of all health,” says Jeremy Lekich, one of Compost Nashville’s founders.

To help nature run its course, Compost Nashville works closely with The Compost Company, a similar but larger organization. Located in Ashland City, the Compost Company converts organic waste into natural hardwood mulch, compost, and a topsoil blend. Begun only five years ago by Edward Wansing, aided with his Masters of Science in Sustainability from Lipscomb University, the Compost Company today processes well over 400 tons of waste per month.

So what are we waiting for, Nashville? Cook, compost, garden, repeat.

Compost Nashville | $35/month | 615-398–0209

Driver, Spencer Sherrill, and Beadle scooping finished compost for customers
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