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Compost Tug-o-War

Here is the last in a series of articles that recently ran in the Spring 2012 issue of Edible Reno-Tahoe. When I was first assigned this story, it seemed pretty cut and dry, a discrepancy between Waste Management and one of their commercial customers. But when I would talk to one person, their story wouldn’t corroborate with the person before so I kept looping back and that would lead me to someone else. It quickly became an investigative report. After my fifth call back to some people, they commented, “You probably didn’t know what you were unearthing when you accepted this story, huh?” No, but I enjoyed unraveling the knot and piecing the puzzle together. Here is the first part of the story but for the complete version, click here.

When managers at Great Basin Brewing Company in Reno, NV contracted with Castaway Trash Hauling to take its food and beverage waste to RT Donovan Company’s regional composting facility in Sparks, it seemed to be an appropriate business-to-business move. But when Waste Management of Reno got wind of the transaction it called into question, “Who owns the garbage?” Leaders at such environmentally friendly businesses as Great Basin Brewing are conscious of the byproduct their services generate. Great Basin, for one, constantly is looking for ways to recycle as much waste as possible.

“We currently recycle between 93 to 95 percent of our waste,” says Tom Young, owner of Great Basin Brewing in Reno and Sparks. “And we are investigating ways to reduce that even further.”

But when Great Basin Brewing managers first contacted Waste Management officials to manage their organic waste back in the summer of 2010, Waste Management officials were not set up to service such a small account. That did not change the fact that the Great Basin folks still wanted to compost their organic waste. They needed an alternative and looked to Castaway in Sparks to do the job.

Read the rest of the article online at Edible Reno-Tahoe, click here: