Finding good composting options can be tough, especially in suburbia. What’s even tougher is finding a compost hauling service that’s also eco-friendly—that is, outside of Kirksville, Missouri. There, students have formed an innovative team of bicycle couriers to collect their neighbors’ compost. The group is called the Rot Riders. As GOOD reports,
…cofounders Jonathan Lessing, Rodery Riney, and Allison Sissom developed the idea... as a project for a student-led grassroots environmentalism course at the local college… Now a community-centered group, Rot Riders involves a pack of five core riders, plus or minus a few volunteers, who break up into pairs, divide the route, and collect buckets of compost left on porches. The rotting goods are taken to Truman’s University Farm compost pile, where they're mixed with other ingredients like campus food waste, leaves, straw, sawdust and manure. The resulting compost takes roughly three months to break down and is made available to all local gardeners.
Combining elements of bike commuting, grassroots organizing, and community gardening, the project came in a close second in this year’s GOOD Citizenship Challenge. And far from being alone, the program has much in common with services in Burlington, Vermont, Victoria, British Columbia, and St. Paul, Minnesota’s Mac-Groveland neighborhood. And as Treehugger reports, the popular Mac-Groveland initiative may even expand into a full-blown municipal program.
The popularity of recent projects like these attest to the growing importance of urban cycling culture in cities throughout the U.S., a culture that is as innovative as it is tenacious.