Home » Planet-positive partnership between local business and HVRSD schools saves money and food waste

Planet-positive partnership between local business and HVRSD schools saves money and food waste

by Colleen Murphy-DePaolo

The Hopewell Valley Regional School District has partnered with local business, OneCompostCan by Terra Preta, to help solve the food waste problem in District schools.

OneCompostCan provides both residential and commercial composting collection services and is on a mission to keep food scraps from ending up in landfills. Instead, company owner Dolph Geurds composts those scraps at Don Farineau’s 100-acre Hopewell Township farm called Groundswell reFARMative.

“What we take from the earth we must return,” stated Geurds, “by composting, we enrich the soil necessary for the next harvest.”

Geurds, a Pennington resident, and Farineau, an Asbury Park resident, see the collaboration as an opportunity to reduce the effects of global warming. The partnership with HVRSD schools began 18 months ago when Geurds reached out to the district to see if OneCompostCan could help with food scraps.

“We had been composting food waste through trash hauling using our regular bin,” explained Thomas Quinn, Director of Facilities for HVRSD. “It became more and more difficult because the companies who offer compost services were closing down and trash haulers did not want to be involved anymore.

“With One Compost Can, we don’t have to use biodegradable bag liners, which are very expensive, and they will accept the lunch trays, which makes it easier,” said Quinn, adding: “The cost is about the same, but this saves money in comparison to putting the stuff in the trash. Composting food waste is not cheap. It definitely saves on what is going into the landfill and helps us with doing things by a more green method.

“I am excited Hopewell students are participating in composting,” said Geurd’s son Hayden, a 2020 graduate of Hopewell Valley Central High School. “Their contribution helps keep our planet clean for generations to come.”

For residential customers, OneCompostCan offers plans between $18 and $36 per month. The company then provides the can, and picks it up on schedule, leaving a new clean can to fill with compost. When a customer needs compost for their garden, the company provides it for no additional charge.

“Composting can make a world of difference,” said Farineau, “and there is no better way than by collaborating with schools to raise student awareness early of the environmental issues they face and how the simple habit of separating organic waste for composting can truly drive planet positive benefits today and for generations to come.”

More information about OneCompostCan can be found at their website

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