How We Compost 600 lbs a Month…On Bike

If you’re around DUMBO, Brooklyn on a Friday morning, you just might stumble upon a strange and seemingly silly sight: a small group of Etsy Admin on bikes, outfitted in full-body jumpsuits and helmets, about to embark on what’s become a routine mission – taking our office compost to the farm.

They ride alongside the little orange Etsy wagon loaded up with bags of more than a hundred pounds of sludge: discarded coffee grinds, ripped-up paper plates, flower stems, brown paper towels, apple cores and decaying orange peels. Bumping along the cobblestone street, they make their way to the scenic bike path just past Brooklyn Bridge Park and head south toward Red Hook Community Farm. There, they’ll compost the week’s collection and help turn it into nutrient-rich soil that’s perfect for growing fruits and vegetables.

The weekly trek is part of Etsy’s composting program, which brings in a monthly average of more than 600 pounds. Though Etsy has experimented with composting in the past, the most recent program began when office ecologist Jakob — in a quest to find the “noble side to garbage” — teamed up with local compost enthusiasts, eager to create a program with a higher impact.