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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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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.

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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.

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#milliontomato Front Yard #millionbucket Garden: October Update

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Summer. Hello? Where you go, Summer?

Well, that was fast. A blur really. I can’t believe it’s already the middle of October. Fall is in full force. Leaves are turning. Crisp mornings. Oddly, we haven’t had our first killer frost yet though. Hmmm?

Our #miiliontomato in a #millionbucket Front Yard Garden Project went great! We had a great tomato growing summer here in Northwest Lower Michigan. The plants were crushing it in their buckets. Big. Bushy. Happy.

We grew all sorts of tomato types. Cherries. Romas. Big Boys. Yellow pears. Apparently, if you grow tomatoes in a mixture of 100% awesome compost, you get some 100% delicious tomatoes. We harvested 2 bushels of some of the yummiest tomatoes I’ve ever tasted.

We did get a few strange looks. Our 5×5 bucket grid took up most of the front yard. When the plants grew big and tall, it looked a bit out of hand. But in an awesome kind of way. We completed the cycle by growing neighborhood food with neighborhood compost using neighborhood buckets. Rad.

We’ve taken the buckets down and composted the plants. We’re dreaming up big plans for next year. 10×10 grid? Help other neighbors set up their own bucket array? Community bucket garden at the F&M park?

Happy Autumn and Compost On!

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Traverse City’s First Community Pile: The Oryana Neighborhood Compost Station

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In case you needed another reason as to why Oryana is a TC leader in all things awesome, go check out their new Neighborhood Compost Station. It’s very cool. Built of recycled-reused-reawesomed pallets in a very functional and stylish 3 bin system. The real deal.

We are super excited to partner with our local co-op to bring Traverse City it’s first (?) Neighborhood Compost Station. This is the beginning of what we hope will be many more Community Piles in and around TC.

As part of our Community Sustained Compost Project, this station will help us find more space as well as help our customers and Oryana’s members reduce their waste and grow wonderful garden soil.

Each spring and fall, we will help host a Neighborhood Compost Screening Fiesta to harvest the black gold so it can be used to grow neighborhood food.

Thanks so much to Oryana for supporting Carter’s Compost and for helping us to green our TC.

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Photo Credit: Beth Price

It’s that time of year again here in Northern Michigan. And although we’d much rather be riding our bikes, we’re looking forward to harvesting some leaves this fall.

We are nothing without our leaves or “browns”. They are an integral part of our C’sC recipe.

Neighborhood Kitchen Scraps + Neighborhood Leaves = Neighborhood Compost.

For every bucket of kitchen scraps or “greens” we dump into the pile, we add 3 buckets of leaves. Leaves that we get from our neighborhood maple trees. They’re free. They’re local. They’re delicious and nutritious.

We pick-up a lot of buckets so we need a lot of leaves! Our #Leaves4Carter program invites our TC neighbors to help by bagging/delivering some leaves to Carter’s Compost World HQ. Please no grass or other yard waste.

Email us at with questions.

Thank you for supporting bike-powered community composting and helping to green our Traverse City!

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United Way’s Day of Caring: The Neighborhood Compost Fiesta Project

Today we hosted our first big neighborhood compost screening party. As part of United Way’s Day of Caring, we had 15 awesome people come over to C’sC World HQ to screen compost and wrangle worms. We had a group from TBAISD Career Tech, two from Edible Grand Traverse Magazine, a current C’sC member and volunteer extraordinaire Mr. Gavin. In all, we had 16 volunteers help out plus I got to miss school for a bit which was awesome.

Here’s the stats:

– 10 five-gallon buckets full of 100% awesome compost…roughly 300lbs!
– 3 worm bins cleaned
– 6 new worm bins built
– 15 buckets of “tchmil” (big bits of not-yet-broken-down organic matter that we use as mulch in the C’sC Urban Farm garden)
– 5 big jars of worm tea brewed
– 13 new friends!
– 4 pancakes at the Open Space breakfast eaten

With all this freshly squeezed compost look for the Carter’s Compost Neighborhood Dirt Market to open soon for the fall season.

Thank You to our rockstar volunteers for helping us out. We really do appreciate it as we can’t do it alone. They were all enthusiastic, eager to learn, not afraid to get dirty, gentle with the worms and super hard workers. Truly Compost Champions! See you next year!