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One Man’s Trash

Rhodeside Revival starts door-to-door composting service

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Composting is a nice idea. Wouldn’t we love to turn spoiled leftovers into arable soil? But suppose you live in a high-rise with no green space, much less a vegetable garden. What do you do with your orange rinds and stale bread?

Starting this summer, Rhodeside Revival can visit your house and haul away those very food scraps. The brainchild of three URI grads, Conor MacManus, Brendan Loflin, and Miguel Costa, the statewide service started up this month, collecting leftover organic matter from Ocean State homes.

“All three of us shared a general environmental awareness and interest in sustainability measures,” says Loflin. “We felt prompted for action once we realized the amount of food waste that was being generated around us every single day.”

The trio started out with a composting club on URI’s campus. Five years after graduation, they noticed local communities cracking down on their environmental footprint. They felt emboldened and decided to start their own company.

When subscribers sign up for Rhodeside Revival, they pay a monthly fee and receive a five-gallon bucket. Participants can compost a wide range of food waste, from tea bags and coffee grounds to house plants and fireplace ashes. The material is collected in two trucks and driven to Earth Care Farm in Charlestown. Founded by Michael Marner, Earth Care has performed large-scale composting since 1977.

Loflin doesn’t expect an overnight success, and the company is starting with only 20 subscribers. But now that the trucks are rolling, he’s hoping for a snowball effect, and Rhodeside Revival aims to enroll 250 to 500 households by the end of its first year. “I’m hoping everyone will be into it,” says Loflin. “If we can be the most environmentally friendly state, then other states will scale up what we’ve done.”