Posted in bike-powered, community, compost

The Story Of Change + Bike-Powered Community Composting

We love The Story of Change. We love everything about it. Flexing our citizens muscle, aiming high, working together and acting boldly.

Big Idea + Teamwork + Action = Real Change

The video got us thinking about Traverse City’s Household Kitchen Scrap Composting Rate and our Community Sustained Compost Project.

We scribbled down this equation:

Bike-Powered Community Composting +
The Awesome People of Traverse City +
Harnessing The Power of the Bicycle To Transport Neighborhood Kitchen Scraps (and other resources*) to a Network of TC Drop-Sites** =

A Greener, Stronger and More Connected Traverse City Which Produces Less Waste, Saves Landfill Space And Grows Lots Of Awesome Garden Soil.

* Think bagged leaves, straw bales, palettes for building compost bins, worms, veggie plants, dirt screeners, wheelbarrows etc.

** Drop-Sites could include our “Sharing” Piles, Community Gardens, Schools, Churches, Neigborhood Compost Stations etc.

We believe that a community that composts together, stays together.

We also believe in the power of the bicycle.

Let’s put the two together and do something awesome, TC.

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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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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.

Posted in Uncategorized

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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Jack and Izzy: Bike Powered Compost Champions


Jack and Izzy, our Traverse Heights bucket slingers, have been quietly going about their business for the past 9 months. Week after week, they’ve been biking around their neighborhood  picking up buckets of kitchen scraps. They are bike powered Compost Champions!

Jack and Izzy are helping 10 of their neighbors to reduce their waste! As part of our Compost Friendly Business program, they are also helping Signs Now and Short’s Brewing Company compost their office snack scraps. That’s pretty awesome.

That’s not it though. Jack and Izzy are also sharing piles with 3 of their neighbors in collaboration with the Community Sustained Compost Project. They are using pedal power to reduce waste, build community and grow awesome neighborhood garden soil to help complete the cycle.

High Five to Jack and Izzy for being true Compost Champions and for helping us to green our Traverse City.

If you’d like to bring bike powered bucket slinging to your neighborhood, let us know, we can help you get started.

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The Great Neighborhood Bike Powered Pumpkin Pick Up


Saturday, November 16, C’sC is offering bike powered porch side pumpkin pick-ups for our neighbors.

$2 for 1 pumpkin.
$3 for 2 pumpkins.
$5 for “all ya got”.

Must be in Oak Park, Boardman, Mid Town, Downtown or Old Town neighborhoods.
Sign up below or just email us your address.
Please don’t put your pumpkin in the trash, they really don’t belong in the landfill.
Let us compost them for you. Because it’s the awesome thing to do.

Posted in Uncategorized

Carter’s Compost Friendly Business Initiative


Too much waste in the office?

Feel bad about putting that banana peel in the trash?

Want to support bike powered, neighborhood composting?

Into the Greening of our beautiful TC?

Like the idea of growing local dirt to grow local food?

My Compost Friendly Business Initiative provides weekly, bike powered pick-ups (within my territory) for offices to recycle their lunch or snack scraps and coffee grounds.

Currently we are helping 8 local businesses be awesome:

– Brew
– Cuppa Joe Drive-Thru
– Britten, Inc.
– Signs Now!
– Dr. Tracy Ruegsegger (my awesome dentist!)
– The main Library (most awesomest library in the WORLD!)
– Baabbaazuzu
– TART office
– Natural Northern Cider House

For just 5bucks/month this is a smokin’ deal. Email me at to sign up today!

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We Love Our Drop-Offers


Do you live outside of our bike pick-up territory (Oak Park, Boardman, Mid-Town, Downtown, Old Town, Central, Traverse Heights neighborhoods) but still want a super easy way to compost? For 5 bucks/month, our Drop-Off service lets you reduce your waste and build awesome garden soil without the fuss of turning the pile, worrying about Carbon/Nitrogen ratios or wrangling worms.

Here’s how it works:

1. Bring your kitchen scraps to C’sC World HQ (841 Washington Street…maroon and yellow house between Rose and Barlow). Leave your bucket on the porch.

What goes into the bucket? Well, most everything that grows is OK.

“If is grows, it goes!”

You can put everything from the kitchen into the bucket (fruit and vegetable scraps, non-greasy food scraps like rice, pasta, bread, cereal etc., coffee grounds & filters, tea bags (staples OK), egg and nut shells, pits.

Please NO meat, dairy, bones, chicken, fish, greasy food scraps, fat, oil, dairy, animal waste, litter or bedding, coal or charcoal, coconuts, yard waste.

2. Grab a clean bucket. We have clean buckets on our porch 24/7.

3. I will dump your scraps into my pile and mix in some carbon aka “browns”” to keep the pile balanced and lovely. Not too wet. Not too dry. Just right. Turning it as needed to bring in oxygen so that the microbes can breathe. I will also wash the buckets.

You can drop-off as much as 1 bucket/week.

Once ready, I will give you a five-gallon bucket full of our (your!) 100% awesome, locally grown compost so that you can use it in your garden to grow yummy veggies (or pretty flowers!). As a C’sC member, you’re entitled to one bucket of compost a year free but if you want more, you’ll have to work for it at one of our Neighborhood Compost Fiestas.

Thanks for supporting bike-powered community composting and helping to green our TC.

We love our drop-offers!

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The C’sC Neighborhood Food Share Project


In our food waste piece for the UNEP‘s World Environment Day contest, we mentioned the idea of a “help-me-with-my- vegetables neighborhood exchange”.

Mrs. Thatcher also commented:

“It is uncomfortable to admit I can’t always figure out how to use all my CSA veggies, or don’t feel like making up the tomatia salsa. I like your idea of an exchange.”

That got us thinking that maybe a micro-level, bike powered food rescue program might be needed in Traverse City. We are a foodie town. We have lots of CSA’s. We are progressive minded. In an effort to help minimize household food waste, we are now offering bike powered, neighbor to neighbor food sharing.

Here’s how it works:

1. Become a C’sC member.

2. Maybe you have too many veggies in your CSA box this week? Leaving on an adventure with too much food in the fridge? Crazy-large harvest from the squash patch?
You get the idea. You have too much food and don’t want it to spoil and end up in the compost pile.

3. Contact us at and say, “Hey, I have a whole loaf of bread that I just can’t eat.”, or “I have a bunch of apples that need to be eaten today.

4. Leave your loaf of bread or apples or what-have-you on your (not in, silly!) bucket on pick-up day.

5. We will find another C’sC member who wants your food and then bike it to them with care.

6. Bread and apples eaten and enjoyed. Less food waste. Mission accomplished. High Five to you.