By LYDIA BERGLAR
NewTerra Compost continues to see success in their efforts to keep food waste out of landfills. The company and its participants have diverted over 1.3 million pounds of organic material from landfills thus far.
Normand Lavoie and Michael Ryan started the Wildwood-based business, providing a composting service for businesses and residences throughout the Dade County and Chattanooga area. You can read about the history of the business and facts about composting in the Feb. 17, 2021 issue of the Sentinel.
While most of NewTerra’s business is in Hamilton County, several Dade County companies have partnered with NewTerra. Oak Leaf Cottage, a wedding venue located at the base of Lookout Mountain, has incorporated the composting service into their efforts to host sustainable weddings.
“Compost kiosks” are also available at the Dade County Transfer Station and the Wildwood Depot for members of the drop-off program. According to the company, “The goal is to be in convenient locations so composting is easy and accessible for the community.”
NewTerra reports that the finished compost is popular among Dade County residents. Program members receive compost in the fall and spring as part of their membership fees, but anyone in Dade County can purchase compost for a discounted price of $50 per yard.
Lavoie explained, “The compost is cured and screened, we are excited to have a lot of inventory going into spring as folks prepare for planting. Call 423-250-1444 to schedule an appointment. (Our site is not open to the public without an appointment).”
NewTerra also sponsored a pumpkin collection event this past fall to keep old pumpkins out of landfills. The event, called “Compost-A-Ween,” was through one of University of Tennessee, Chattanooga’s student organizations – Ecological Decisions for a Global Environment (EDGE).
The event collected over 5,000 pounds of pumpkins. Consumable pumpkins were provided to Dade County farmers to feed to animals, while unsuitable pumpkins were composted.
In addition to compost, NewTerra’s land is a wood chip drop off for Trenton-based Meed Forestry and other arborists. Lavoie reported that a Dade County church used them for a gardening project.
Additionally, the company spoke with the Dade County Board of Education about implementing a compost program with an education aspect in the schools, but the school board decided not to implement the program.
The company offers compostable products to replace single-use plastic items, saying, “We source compostable products that make it easy for festivals, weddings, or family parties to have zero-waste events.”