WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Urban Composting Comes To DC

Play associated audio

By Sabri Ben-Achour

There's not a lot of room for compost heaps in the city, so urban living doesn't usually mix too well with composting. But perhaps not anymore.

In the basement of Surfside restaurant on Wisconsin avenue in Northwest, the aroma of avocado, lemon and cilantro infuses the air like perfume. Prep staff are making a mountain of guacamole and waste - pits and skins. They have to empty their large trash cans 7 or 8 times a day.

"You're talking about doing at least a couple of tons a week, you can create 600 or 800 pounds of soil just out of that," says Jeremy Brosowsky.

He drives the Compost Cab. It's a lemon yellow pickup truck that's going to start driving through D.C., picking up people's scraps for a few dollars each week. The scraps will be composted into soil. Some gets returned to customers if they want it, and some goes to a nonprofit urban farm in College Park, Maryland. Brosowsky is trying to sign up David Scribner, one of the chefs at Surfside.

"Why not, let's give it a shot, we have a huge volume of compostable material here that's just getting dumped in a landfill," says Scribner.

Brosowsky wants composting to be as ubiquitous as recycling. He's dropping off special airtight bins to several dozen residential subscribers, the first pick up is set for the week of Labor Day.

WAMU 88.5

Kate Mulgrew: "Born With Teeth" (Rebroadcast)

Kate Mulgrew, who stars as "Red" in the Netflix TV series "Orange Is The New Black", opens up in a new memoir about her complicated family and the baby she gave away for adoption as a young woman.


Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash; many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.