Two companies are making it easier for Denton County residents to recycle their food scraps.

Composting companies Turn and Compost Carpool recently expanded to Denton County to increase composting and organic recycling and reduce methane emissions.

Turn, a Dallas-based environmental service, has expanded its food waste recycling service northward to Denton County.

Turn offers organic recycling to consumers and businesses across Dallas-Fort Worth and educates consumers on sustainable food cycle practices.

“Our founder, Lauren Clark, launched Turn in April of 2018,” Head of Operations Cheryl Shuldenberg said. “It corresponded with Earth Day that year. She’s got a lot of background in environmental services and composting and master gardeners. She started it in her own zip code in Lakewood in 75204 and has extended to about 20 zip codes across DFW with our pickup service.”

Turn holds a food waste drop off station in Whole Foods Market parking lots in Highland Village and at the Armadillo Ale Works in Denton. Turn subscribers drop off their full bucket of food scraps at the Turn truck and receive a clean, sanitized bucket in return. Turn’s two north drop-off locations are on alternating Saturdays between the two locations.

“The drop off service is $20 a month plus tax, and they can do unlimited drop offs,” Shuldenberg said. “Some use all of our locations, so we see them weekly. Others we see once every two or three weeks. It just depends on their speed of filling up the bucket. Customers who sign up for our service get what we call a composting starter kit. It includes a bucket with an airtight lid and a compost guide that tells them what they can and can't put in there. It's not completely inclusive, so we run a customer reach out with questions, and we're 24/7 responsive. We can get back pretty quick.”

As part of the Turn subscription, members also receive a quarterly household impact report on their diverted organic waste. Subscribers have the option to keep their perk or donate it to a local school or community initiative.

“We take their filled bucket to our home base in Deep Ellum. It's called FARM. It stands for Farmers Assisting Returning Military. We have compost piles there that can be worked on a daily basis. Twice a year, our customers get a 15-pound bag if they wish to use it on their own garden. We also have a lot of partnered farms and community gardens that we donate to as well.” 

Turn is also a local partner for food waste diversion to corporations, restaurants, small businesses, schools and residents across Dallas-Fort Worth. Turn is a member of the U.S. Composting Council. Turn is also certified with the Green Restaurant Association of America.

“We were just certified from the Green Restaurant Association to take all food waste form our commercial clients, whereas we strictly take pre-consumer – precooked items, so if you’re chopping fruits or vegetables. We also take coffee grounds and teabags.”

Compost Carpool is a Grapevine-based compost collection company bringing organic recycling to Flower Mound, Lewisville and Highland Village.

“The company started in fall of 2019,” Laura Prentice, Highland village resident and manager of the Compost Carpool expansion said. “The founder, Melissa Pringle wanted to make her life more sustainable, so she did a little searching. She found out about composting, and she wanted to get involved with that. She wanted to make composting accessible to other, so they can be a little greener and more sustainable.”

Residents can sign up on the Compost Carpool website at its booth at the Flower Mound Farmers Market. It offers a choice of three services. Customers can pay $20 each month for a weekly drop off service, while weekly food scraps pickup is $30 each month. Compost Carpool also offers a service to pick up food scraps and yard waste weekly for a monthly fee of $40.

“It's a subscription service,” Prentice said. “How it works is we give you a five-gallon bucket and throughout the week, you can fill it up with all of your food scraps, like veggie and fruit peels, eggshells, coffee grounds and teabags. If you drop off your bucket, we exchange it for a new clean bucket. If you opt for the pickup option, we come to you, we pick up your bucket on your doorstep, and we drop off a clean bucket.”

After collecting residents’ food and yard waste, Compost Carpool transports the buckets and bags of scraps to local community gardens and farms including the Beulah Acres Agroforest in Corinth. The scraps go toward composting and feeding some of the animals that local farmers keep.

“We are mostly serving residents right now, but we also offer it to offices,” Prentice said. “We are just getting into commercial in terms of coffee shops, juice bars, things like that. We don't currently have any larger commercial accounts, but it is definitely part of our future mission.”

“People seem really grateful that we're doing it,” she said. “Some of our customers asked if they get some of the compost back, which I hope that someday we can do that, but since we do not produce the compost ourselves, we cannot do that yet. All of our donations go to local farms. That will be a cool possible future expansion. Some subscribers visit the local farms that we donate to, which is really cool I love connecting them with the farms we donate to.”

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