This week, David and Laura are joined by owner of WasteNot Compost, Liam Donnelly. WasteNot Compost, Chicago’s first and only zero-emission compost collection was born in 2015. WasteNot Compost currently serves homes and all business types ranging from schools, cafes, bakeries, to farmers markets, and everything in between. They take the work out of composting for you so it can not only be easy to do so in an urban setting, but is a clean experience with all tools provided every pickup.
Top podcast highlights (by timestamp):
:43 – Liam tells us about himself and his background.
1:24 – Tune in to hear about when Liam’s passion for composting began.
4:05 – Liam talks about his childhood and experience with composting.
6:18 – Hear about how WasteNot Compost began and Liam’s journey of starting his own company! He worked at a coffee shop, ended up composting for them as a hobby, and then was offered payment for his work. It was the first time he realized that he could use something he was passionate about as a career.
“It’s really not a nuisance [composting], it’s when you get lazy that composting goes bad and gets a bad rep.”
10:00 – Hear Liam talk about the top misconceptions about composting.
“How do I educate the public that food waste is not composting and landfill, instead it’s contributing this really potent greenhouse gas that we’re all suffering from?”
11:56 – Hear about how you can begin composting and making a difference in your ecological footprint!
17:02 – Listen in on how they came up with their brand. Their current brand identity has helped them become noticed for being local and has appealed to their roots.
23:10 – Wondering if WasteNot makes it over to your neighborhood? Tune in to hear where they are currently servicing and where they might consider expanding!
26:04 – Should composting be added to the formula of farm to table, but rather, farm to soil? Hear Liam’s thoughts on the topic here.
“I think it’s critical that if we want long term, sustainable agriculture and long term, sustainable restaurant business, we really need to start thinking about the soil that grows our food.”
28:34 – How long does it take to make that “black gold,” and what does the timeline look like overall?
30:12 – Wondering what you can do with compost? Listen here!
“When I grew up with composting, the reason I fell in love with it was because of the transformation process. Seeing food waste become the finished product was critical. I believe it’s critical that those that compost with WasteNot see the transformation process.”
31:37 – Liam gives information about compost workshops they host!
33:44 – Tune in for Rapid Fire Questions. Questions include: What is your favorite “compost-friendly” product? How do you guys like to spend your free time? Liam, we saw that you worked at a local cafe growing up. Do you have a favorite coffee drink you either like making your sipping yourself? A favorite cafe in the city? If you could expand your business anywhere, where would that be and why? What are three things you couldn’t live without?