This month the spotlight shines not on a Green Business but within Clark County's Green Business program, to a hardworking AmeriCorps member, Jesse Barr. Barr started his AmeriCorps service with Green Business in October 2017 and is now the driving force behind food waste outreach in restaurants across the county.
Barr spends his time reaching out to restaurants to tell them they can now add a separate food waste collection to their usual garbage and recycling services. Instead of being buried in a landfill, food waste is sent to Dirt Hugger in Dallesport, Washington for composting. This cuts down on greenhouse gases and oftentimes reduces garbage weight, saving money on garbage bills.
When a business is interested in the program, Green Business and Waste Connections staff team up to conduct a free waste audit where they sort food waste and recyclables out of the garbage. This provides a baseline to see how much food waste a restaurant is throwing away, and if diverting that waste to Dirt Hugger would make sense.
Barr states that even if a restaurant opts out of composting, his outreach often helps solve other recycling and waste reduction problems they may be having. In the end, connecting with these restaurants and conducting waste audits allows the Green Business program to reach beyond the certified Green Businesses, making small impacts towards sustainability county-wide.
To date, 92 businesses in Clark County are composting their food scraps, saving thousands of pounds of organics from being wasted. To learn more about this program, please visit www.clarkgreenbiz.com/composting.