Composting is a fantastic eco-friendly practice, but unfortunately, it’s not always feasible for everyone. Whether it’s due to small-space living constraints, building policies, or other challenges, sometimes maintaining your own compost pile just isn’t an option.
That leaves a big question: What are you supposed to do with all those kitchen scraps besides tossing them in the trash? Enter ShareWaste, the simple-but-genius solution founded by husband and wife duo Tomas Brambora and Eliska Bramborova. Originally from Prague, the pair are now based in Australia and have given us all the composting solution of our dreams, which has since grown into an internationally active grassroots organization.
Here’s everything you need to know about ShareWaste’s composting service, including who can use it, how to donate, and how to participate.
What’s ShareWaste, and How Does It Help You Compost?
ShareWaste is a free online service (and app!) that pairs people looking to offload food scraps with people willing to accept them, whether for their own garden or compost pile, to feed to animals, or just for the sake of helping out local neighbors.
Using ShareWaste’s free mobile app or website, anyone can register to participate—either as someone wanting to hand off organic waste, or someone looking to receive it. Because of this free-form design, ShareWaste operates anywhere people decide to use it. You just need at least one of each kind of participant to make it work.
How to Donate Your Food Scraps
Donations happen the old-fashioned way, with a drop-off from giver to receiver. The donor and host simply arrange a visit where the donor comes to the host’s location and drops off their organic waste. (Hosts don’t necessarily have to be present each visit—especially once the two parties have established a relationship.) These hand-offs can be a great way to meet people nearby with an interest in sustainability.
Those who volunteer to receive organic waste—the “compost hosts,” as they’ve been delightfully dubbed—can specify exactly which kinds of organic waste they accept. That way, they won’t receive excessive or unusable scraps. The service isn’t limited to individual households, either.
Community gardens can register as receivers, and what the app calls “cafes”—essentially anything in the hospitality business, such as a coffeehouse or restaurant—can register as donors. This hugely expands the amount of organic waste being diverted from landfills and put to productive use through this system.
Users can also disable their compost temporarily, so that they don’t appear on the map as an active host if they’re away from home for a period of time or can’t accept at the moment. And to make the whole process even smoother, ShareWaste has published extensive FAQs and helpful how-tos for participants. There’s also a brief code of community ethics, which offers advice to users on how to be good compost donors and hosts.
How to Participate in ShareWaste’s Service
Want to participate? It’s as simple as signing up! The service will be even more effective and helpful with the more people who participate, as this will expand access and broaden users’ options for organic waste donation.
Spread the word, share this link with family and friends, and go meet some new, sustainably-minded neighbors. Your waste bin—and the worms!—will thank you.
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