Wendell Simonson and Nora Goldstein
In April 2007, BioCycle launched FindAComposter.com, a publicly searchable database of composting facilities in the United States and Canada. The intent — then and now — was to make it easy to find composting facilities to divert organic waste streams as well as buy compost. BioCycle and the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) collaborated on creating this online directory in large part due to a perception that the infrastructure to compost food scraps was limited in the U.S. Over the years, FindAComposter.com (FAC) has become populated with sites that are permitted to receive pre and postconsumer food scraps, as well as many other types of facilities taking a variety of organic waste streams: yard trimmings, biosolids, livestock manure, food processing residuals, wood, and more.
In 2019, the FAC database was taken off line in order to transition the site to a new platform. The new and improved database is now live and available for use. The site has been completely redesigned and updated on both the front and back ends, and currently includes listings for 614 composting facilities across the United States and Canada. Users can search by facility name, location, and material types accepted. Each facility has a unique listing page featuring additional information including composting methods and if the compost is approved for use on certified organic farms.
The three partners contributing to this new version of FAC are BPI, BioCycle and the University of Georgia (UGA) New Materials Institute (NMI). BPI is managing the development and ongoing administration of the site itself, while BioCycle and NMI are contributing the facility data. NMI, which has its roots in UGA’s College of Engineering, promotes circularity in materials management and partners with industry and businesses to design materials for their use that are bio-based, fully biodegradable, or completely recyclable.
Now that the site is live and operational again, the next step in the development plan is to add the ability for composters to login and either edit their existing listings, or add new facilities to the database. Once that work is complete, the focus will be on adding listings for municipal organics collection programs, subscription services, drop off locations, and other access information for both residential and commercial generators.
Currently, BioCycle is conducting the 2021 Residential Food Scraps Collection Access Study, collecting data on programs in the U.S. that provide collection access via curbside pick-up, drop-off and/or subscription services offered by private companies, nonprofits or worker-owned cooperatives. Identified residential food scraps collection access programs will be added to the FAC database to help facilitate household and commercial food scraps recycling. Municipalities and others providing collection access will be able to add their programs to the FAC database.
If you have any questions about the site, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendell Simonson is Marketing Director at BPI. Nora Goldstein is Editor at BioCycle Connect, LLC.