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2013 Take It Back “Recycler Of The Year”


We’re stoked to be Grand Traverse County’s Resource Recovery Council’s 2013 Take It Back “Recycler Of the Year“. We scored a ginormous plaque and got to meet RecycleSmart‘s staff as well as some of our county commissioners. Mum brought muffins. A few of our friends, sponsors, and members came. We even got interviewed on TV! It was an awesome night.

We think we had a pretty good 2013 but we never dreamed of this. As Recycler of the Year, we join some pretty awesome company. Check out past RotY recipients:

2008 Goodwill Industries
2009 The Medicine Shoppe and The Prescription Shop
2010 All Take It Back registered businesses were recognized
2011 Michigan Green Consortium
2012 American Waste

We may be called “Carter’s Compost” but really, we are “Traverse City’s Compost”. Since the get-go in 2012, we have had nothing but amazing support from our community.

Some Thank Yous are in store:

Thank You to our neighbors for choosing to be Compost Champions. Without them taking the time to fill the buckets with their kitchen scraps, there’d be no Carter’s Compost.

Thank You to my sponsors for their financial backing helping us invest in a new bike and trailer.

Thank You to all of our Pile Sharers for helping us find space for the scraps.

Thank you to Oryana for building Traverse City’s first Community Compost Station.

Thank You to our volunteers for helping to screen the compost, wrangle worms and harvest leaves.

Thank You to our fellow Compost kids: Jack & Izzy and Max.

Thank You to the GT County Resource Recovery Council for the honor.

And Thank You, Traverse City. You’re a great town. Really. Let’s continue to Compost On! together and make bike-powered neighborhood bucket slinging the new normal in TC.

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The C’sC Community Sustained Compost Project

we compost

Neighbors helping neighbors to grow compost, reduce waste, save landfill space and green our neighborhood is an awesome way to build community!

We are partnering with like minded neighbors/organizations/businesses to help make bike-powered, youth-driven community composting the new normal in Traverse City.

Our Community Sustained Compost Project features:

Neighborhood Compost Stations,
backyard “sharing” piles,
Neighborhood Compost Fiestas,
C’sC Expansion Program where we help young people start slinging buckets in their own neighborhood
Carter’s College of Compostology: An educational program where we teach the nuts and bolts of backyard composting to our neighbors

You can also support bike-powered community composting by: bagging your shredded maple leaves,
sponsoring us and
donating your time/talents.

We’re dreaming big in 2014 to make bike-powered, youth-driven, community composting become the new normal in TC and have launched a KickStarter Project to help make it happen. We appreciate your support!

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My 4th grade Science Fair Project: A compost survey


I am researching Traverse City’s household kitchen scrap composting rate for my science fair project. I don’t think there is any current data on this. Your answers to this survey are not only important to my science project but could be useful to our local government as well.

The survey will take about 5 minutes. There are a few gardening questions as this is important to the Carter’s Compost mission of “completing the cycle” by growing neighborhood food with neighborhood compost. Expect some demographic questions too.

All answers are anonymous and you must live in Grand Traverse County to participate. Please, only one survey per household. Duplicates will be disqualified. Ends January 31.

Go to the survey here:

I want to get a lot of respondents so that my sample is large. Please share the above link with your neighbors/friends/co-workers via email/social media/website/newsletter.

Thank you for taking part in my survey.

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Max vs The Polar Vortex


Meet Max. Max is our Central Neighborhood bucket slinger. He’s been using his bike, buckets and trailer to help his neighbors compost their kitchen scraps for the past year. He is legit. And unlike us, who bailed on this winter, he is brave. Tough as nails. Max is a true Northern Michigander.

Polar Vortex? 50+ inches of snow? Icy roads? No biggie. Max is a Compost Champion and continues to get out there week after week to help his neighbors reduce their waste.

Should you ever see him out on his bucket route on Mondays, make sure to give him a High Five or an “Atta Boy!” for helping to green our TC. Some hot chocolate wouldn’t be a bad idea either!

Thanks for being so awesome and taking one for the team, Max.

We’re proud of you.

Compost On!, young man.

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2013: A Compost Year In Review

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Last January we made a list of OneHundred13 awesome things for Twenty13. As predicted, they all stayed rad. This January, we’re reflecting on the year that was here at C’sC World HQ:

* We have now helped over 100 neighbors reduce their waste.

* Added several offices to our Compost Friendly Business program. Now 12 in all.

* Stayed true to being 100% bike powered. Because it’s the awesome thing to do.

* Planted a “million” buckets in our front yard as part of the US Compost Council’s Million Tomato Campaign

* Our Community Sustained Compost Project now features 12 backyard “sharing” piles and Traverse City’s first Neighborhood Compost Station at Oryana.

* Helped 3 other TC kids start bucket slinging operations in their own neighborhoods.

* We wrote about Food Waste and Our Apple Tree and made the short list of a UNEP blogging contest and almost won a trip to Mongolia for World Environment Day.

* Neighborhood Compost Fiestas are muy FUN!

* The C’sC Mobile Compost Pile helps events go zerowaste. We helped 13 community events compost their food waste.

* Completing of the Cycle. We reduce neighborhood waste and grow neighborhood compost made from neighborhood kitchen scraps to then grow neighborhood food.

* Our 2nd annual Great Neighborhood Pumpkin Pick-upwas a roaring success.

* The C’sC College of Compostology continues to educate our neighbors about the awesomeness of backyard composting.

* “Graduated” 13 of our members to their own backyard pile.

* We started a new community based youth cycling organization called El Grupo Norte.

* People from 73 different counters visited last year

Our winter siesta is going great. We’re embracing the snow but dreaming of spring. We’re definitely fired up for 2014.

Let’s Compost On! together, TC.

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We Love Our Library

Meet our library. Every kid probably thinks their library is the best but ours really is. Not only do they use my bucket to compost their lunch scraps and coffee grounds but they also have the finest books/movies/music to check out.

They always have all sorts of special things going on too. Like the Summer Reading program, Wigglers with Ms Jill and Brown Sugar, the Saturday Sampler, TADL BATL, movies in the Big Room, and the Legorama/ChessClub/Word Bingo/Time to Draw after-school activities.

Probably the most awesome library on the planet.

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Bike-Powered Snow Plowing with NORTE! Youth Cycling

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Oh Hello, Winter!

Although we’ve just celebrated winter solstice, snow has come early and often to Northern Michigan. We’ve already had 26 inches of the beautiful white stuff this season…that’s 66cm for my Canadian friends.

Our winter bucket slinging siesta is going great! Sledding at the Civic Center, skiing at Hickory, snowshoeing at Pellizzari. We’ve also been helping out NORTE! Youth Cycling with their bike-powered sidewalk and trail plowing as part of TART’s snow removal initiative.

We’re helping to build community by clearing snow the awesome way. We’re using pedal power to make our neighborhood more accessible for walkers and cyclists. Neighbors helping neighbors. Zero emissions. Clean energy. Infinite MPG. That’s pretty awesome.

Email NORTE! at for more details.

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Carter’s Compost Winter Bike Share

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Traverse City’s only winter bike share program is now open for its second season. When most cities, like Philly (wimps!), shut down their programs for the winter, we will only open ours when the snow flies. Winter has come early to Traverse City this year so we thought we’d better open our Bike Share early too.

Thanks to our friends at Recycle-a-Bicycle and McLain Cycles, we currently have 7 bikes in the fleet. They aren’t the prettiest rides but they do work.

Are these nice bikes? Nope. They’re beaters without fancy 4 inch tires. They do ride just fine in the snow, though. These bikes will get you where you are going. Don’t trash your nice bike. Ride one of our beaters instead. Because beater bikes make the best winter bikes.

They’re perfect for a quick rip to the library or store. Or maybe downtown to see a movie or grab a bite. Last night we rode them down Washington Street to see the lights. Fun!

These bikes are also great to help out with Norte!’s bike plow snow clearing program. They love to clear snow off neighborhood sidewalks and trails.

The C’sC Winter Bike Share is a free service. Yes, free! We only ask that you take care of the bike and return within 2 days in the same condition as when you took it. Be good to our bikes and they will be good to you.

Should you have a functioning mountain bike that you don’t need anymore please consider donating it to our fleet. We’ll take good care of it and give a rad new life as a C’sC Winter Beater Bike. Email us at

Be safe. Be seen. Don’t take those corners too hot. Have fun and enjoy the snow.

Happy Winter Riding!

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A Winter Siesta


Winter has arrived in Northern Michigan. Really. We already have 9 inches of snow and it’s only December 2.

We love winter in Traverse City. Skiing at Hickory, sledding at the Civic Center, snowman building, snowshoeing at Pellizzari, skating at the F&M’er, snowball throwing, fort making but unfortunately not bucket slinging this year.

Winter bucket slinging here in Northern Michigan is doable. But just barely. With some help from a bunch of neighborhood kids and a few awesome college students, we proved it theoretically possible last year. We learned some things. But in the end, realized that’s it’s just too tough. Too tough on our toes and fingers and cheeks. Too tough on our bikes and trailers. Maybe a bit unsafe on the icy roads as well.

Soooo…after 20 straight months of weekly bike powered pick-ups, our “board” has decided to take a siesta this winter. We will stop pick-ups effective December 2 and resume April 1.

But, don’t worry! We have a plan to keep all of our C’sC members being awesome:

1. Our drop-off service will remain open. Bring your scraps to C’sC World HQ and we’ll handle the rest.

2. Adopt some worms. The C’sC Worm U-Pick operation is open for business. Come pick some of our worms and start your own vermicompost bin and let them eat your scraps.

3. Maybe you’re ready to graduate to your own pile. Our big idea has always been to get more neighborhood piles in backyards to then grow more neighborhood compost. We can help you find some pallets if needed. Or you can have one of our commercial plastic compost bins. First come, first served!

4. Not quite ready to manage your own pile? Come learn how to compost in your backyard with our C’sC College of Compostology program. Yes, composting in Northern Michigan is a four season thing and it’s easier than you think to do it in the winter!

Thanks again for all of the support the past year and a half. We’ll see you around the neighborhood and as always…..Compost On!

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10 things we’re grateful for this Thanksgiving:

1. Our neighbors/members who take the time to fill the buckets with their kitchen scraps and then use the finished compost to grow neighborhood food.

2. Oryana’s Neighborhood Compost Station: TC’s First Community Pile!

3. Mindcraft.

4. Our sponsors. Our volunteers. Our friends. Our Compost Friendly Businesses. Our graduates.

5. Pumpkin pie, smashed potatoes and Granny’s cranberries.

6. All 1 million of our worms who work hard, day in – day out, eating the scraps. They rock.

7. The Washington Street maple trees for sharing their leaves. #freecarbon #Leaves4Carter

8. Jack, Izzy, and Max. TC’s finest bucket slingers.

9. Our members who line their bucket with grocery bags or compostable bags as part of the Lets-Help-Carter-Scrub-Less-Buckets Project.

10. Our Pile Sharers. Community Sustained Compost!

Traverse City is a community full of radness.
We’re thankful to be a part of it.

Happy Thanksgiving.