BY JANA WILSON
Kathy Gutowsky and Randi Cox have a history of environmental activism that dates back to the late 90s when they met on a recycling committee. Now they have turned that interest into a business, Green Camino Curbside Composting.
“I do love composting,” Gutowsky says. “It’s just so simple, physical, and magical. It’s helped me cope with our troubled world.”
Gutowsky says composting isn’t limited to egg shells and fruit and vegetable peels. Green Camino’s list of acceptable compostables includes everything from meat and dairy products to food-contaminated paper products that can’t be recycled.
Participating in the program is easy. Those who enroll simply collect compost in the provided bucket and leave it curbside for weekly pickup. And while subscribers don’t get any compost in return (that goes to a local farm, where it is turned into soil), what they do get is the satisfaction of knowing their household scraps are being diverted from the landfill. According to a recent study done for Monroe County, 39 percent of materials dumped as trash was food waste or other compostable items.
“Our service is a pretty low-barrier way to get started into living sustainably,” Cox points out.
Green Camino’s clients include people in neighborhoods where composting is prohibited, as well as older clients who can’t do the work it takes to compost. Others just want to live a more sustainable life. One of the company’s most notable subscribers is Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.
Cox has the compost “chops” in this woman-owned business. She is an environmental management graduate of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and serves as chair of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District.
The marketing and publicity end of the business is handled by Gutowsky, a communications professional who has been a resident of Bloomington since graduating from IU in the mid-80s.
Subscribers pay $10 a week for a four-week subscription and $8 a week for a 12-week plan. When customers sign up, they receive a lidded 5-gallon bucket, a kitchen pail, instructions, and a yard sign. Each Sunday morning, composters put their buckets on the curb for pick-up and get a clean bucket in return.
For more information, visit greencaminocompost.com.