Composting With Urban Roots

As a company that specializes in plant-grown food and beverages, we know that environmentally responsible business practices correlate to our future success.  One way that we implement these environmentally responsible practices is by composting. Composting is an opportunity to recycle our coffee and food waste into something useful and divert it from the landfill. After all, did you know that almost half of municipal waste is food waste? While this may sound like a good thing, biodegradable food items actually struggle to break down in landfills due to a lack of oxygen. Composting allows this waste to be aerated and broken down into nitrogen rich soil. A one-inch layer of compost provides soil with enough nutrients for a year. With this in mind composting becomes the much more responsible, ethical, and obvious choice. 

At our main facility on Winter Ave, we work with a professional curbside compost collection company. However, due to lack of space downtown, there was no room for extra carts at our new coffee shop located in the Trust Building. We needed to get creative and look for new options to ensure that our organic waste could be utilized. After some research and a few calls, we found Urban Roots, a community farm, market, and education center located on Madison Ave. in the south side of Grand Rapids. As soon as we saw their mission statement, “To cultivate resilient and durable families, communities, and ecosystems through urban agriculture,” we knew that we had found a great fit. Urban Roots combines environmental care, community-building, and education, all things that we also value at Ferris.
Since April, we have been participating in the Urban Roots composting program, “YOUR Compost.”  The process is simple. They give us buckets, we fill them with coffee grounds and tea leaves, and once a week they send someone out to collect compost and bring it back to the farm. And get this––it is all done on bicycle!


Awesome, right? This service is currently available to residents of certain areas of Grand Rapids, primarily in Eastown, but Urban Roots plans to expand their collection routes. At the moment, our Trust Coffee Shop is the only downtown stop, but Urban Roots is looking for residential and small business accounts to partner with. We encourage our friends and neighbors to join us and Urban Roots as we continue to prevent organic waste from winding up in landfills.

For more information on Urban Roots, the importance of composting, and compost collection sign-up, check out their website.