Not too long after starting Corner Kitchen in 2004 it struck me that a lot of food and trash goes to the dumpster every day. At the time, there was no way to compost food scraps. We could recycle and compost certain things, but the amount of food that gets thrown away was pretty staggering. We wanted to do something about that.
In response to this state of affairs, we did what we have done a few times over the years. We developed a solution to a problem (in my old life it would have been called Continuous Quality Improvement). My business partner, Joe Scully, found a farm where the composting process could take food scraps, including meat. We started a business called Greenbeanery that would go each day and collect recycling from restaurants that contracted with us. One of our servers was also the driver for this business.
They say you should stick with what you know and are good at. We were not great at the recycling/composting business. The hours coincided with the early hours of the restaurant. Our server/driver wanted to just be a server after a while. And Joe and I didn’t really want to continue. We did still want the service though.
Along came Danny Keaton who had just started a company call Danny’s Dumpsters. He hauled compost to the farm I mentioned earlier and in 2012 started his own compost processing facility, which, by the way, produces some really beautiful finished compost and topsoil.
Before we started composting and recycling, we had a large dumpster that had to be emptied twice a week. Once we started putting our waste into the proper places, we dropped to a smaller dumpster once a week, greatly reducing the amount of the wrong things going to the landfill. This was a win for us, a win for Danny’s Dumpster, and a win for the environment.
– Kevin Westmoreland