One year ago today we filed for our Articles of Incorporation, which I guess makes Dirt Hugger a year old today. In the spirit of transparency, record-keeping and reporting we decided to make a pseudo annual report, Dirt Hugger-style. The business was founded on the principle of doing something that actually makes a difference. We wanted to have an impact in our community and planet and if could make a living while doing it, we’d be set. The past year has exceeded our expectations and has been a thrilling adventure in getting an idea off the ground. We have had a blast, gotten to know our community, and learned a ton (what new business allows you to tour fruit pack houses, lumber mills, the prison, high schools, food processors, breweries, biomass facilities, restaurant kitchens, grocery storage, the landfill, and waste transfer stations?). It’s been worth the ride (although we still haven’t received the elusive paycheck). Most of all we are very thankful for the tremendous support from everyone who has helped along the way. Below is a short synopsis of our attempted triple bottom line accounting.
In one year:
- Selected a site location, obtained DEQ type II feedstock permitting, and developed facility according to regulations.
- Tyler became a SWANA certified composter
- Obtained over 25 feedstock customers
- Obtained permits to pilot food scrap composting in Hood River + The Dalles cities
- Processed 1,232 tons of material (including 305 tons diverted from the landfill).
- Reduced CO2 emissions by 150 tons (EPA Waste Reduction Model). That’s the equivalent of 59,249 cylinders used for home bar-b-ques.
- Delivered 12 site tours including one college-level class with OSU.
- Received $63.5K in grant funding from three donors (Tri-Counties, The Port of The Dalles, and Myoo Create).
What’s next for the coming year and beyond? Overall the goal is to divert more material from the landfill and to make more compost for local food growing soil. More specifically, turning the food scraps pilot into an ongoing program and looking towards residential curbside composting are targets. Lastly, keep having fun.