As the saying goes, “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” In Brett Bloom’s case it’s more like, “one person’s food scraps are his healing remedy for our local soil.” In 2019, Bloom officially started his compost company right here in Fort Wayne called “Dirt Wain.” By definition, a wain \wān\ is a large open farm wagon and the word lends itself well to this new and growing local business that exists to support community-scale composting. Bloom himself is an urban gardener, a community activist and a trained artist by trade; all of which have influenced his vision for and design of Dirt Wain.
While many residents are enjoying all the fresh produce of summer from their gardens, farmers’ markets and grocery stores, it is a perfect time to discuss the importance of composting as a community. The discussion that almost never happens is, “what happens to all the organic matter from that same produce; the peals, the rinds, the husks, the scraps?” For many, it ends up in the trash.
Bloom shared, “Many people don’t realize it, but when their organic food scraps go into the trash and end up in a landfill, they eventually turn into methane gas, a climate accelerator, as well as leachate that eventually seep into the ground and drinking water.”
According to Bloom, Methane is said to be 84 times more toxic than carbon dioxide in terms of emissions. And he indicated that traditional landfills are made for long-term waste, not compostable materials. So, composting is an amazing option that Bloom encourages people to explore. Composting is an approach and practice that can heal our soil that has often been drained of necessary nutrients through our agricultural and farming practices. Instead of throwing organic scraps away, consider what composting could look like for you, your family, and even your local business.
“Compost can heal and is healing the earth. Composting is about giving back and being a full participant in local nutrients,” Bloom conveyed.
Dirt Wain uniquely works with residents, businesses, and even local events to help them invest in a composting process and presence. People and businesses can purchase monthly subscriptions that include what you need to compost, a weekly pick up service, and a bag of compost annually. For a lesser fee, you can get a monthly subscription that allows you to drop off your compost as often as you want at one of the three designated locations that are “compHosting” these sites.
Not only is Bloom working with individual residents and businesses, he is also partnering with local neighborhood associations to plan for community composting. This would allow for a communal site that would encourage neighbors to work together to compost as a community.
“What’s really cool,” Bloom excitedly shared, “is that I already have two customers in Waynedale whom I pick up compost from, usually on my way through as I’m headed to Dick’s Organics over on Coverdale Road, run by Rick Ritter.”
Dirt Wain takes-in roughly 1,600 pounds of expired produce from local grocery stores and restaurants each week and it is then delivered to Dick’s Organics, where it is fed to the rescue animals that come there to live out the remainder of their lives. Anything left over after the animals pick through it is put back into the soil at the farm, where produce is grown for local soup kitchens. However, Bloom shared that he would LOVE to have even more involvement from Waynedale residents.
Where does all the residential and business compost go some may ask? Bloom has collaborated with Wood Farms, located near the airport, to build a permitted industrial composting site. This is where the magic happens!
“It is really amazing to share with the community about how composting works and how it can heal our landscapes and soil. I look forward to continue to spread the good word in Fort Wayne,” Bloom expressed.
If you are interested in learning more about Dirt Wain and composting check out their website, dirtwain.com or give them a call (260) 376-0353
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