Analyst Report: Upgrade for access Blue Earth Compost Faces Growing Pains

Blue Earth Compost collects food waste and pays other companies to convert it into something useful. But the company's growth prospects are limited.

Company: Blue Earth Compost on Wefunder 2022
Security Type: Equity - Preferred
Valuation: $2,000,000
Min Investment: $100
Platform: Wefunder
Deadline: Apr 30, 2023
Léa Bouhelier-Gautreau - March 7th

From Trash to Treasure

California residents are lucky. The state mandates that all of them should be able to compost. Residents simply drop their plant-based waste into specific trash bins. Collectors then send the waste to composting facilities that turn it into a fertile soil for gardeners and farmers.

To me, it’s a big deal. I grew up in a house with a garden. Composting was a habit. I’ve lived in apartments all my adult life and couldn’t compost again until I moved to California. But I’m surprised every time I dump my potato starch-based compost bag in the building’s compost trash bin: I seem to be the only one to do so in my building.

It looks like having the option is not enough. People need to know why they should make the effort to separate their food waste from the rest of their nonrecyclable trash.

Food scraps such as carrot peels look harmless, but food waste is actually one of the biggest drivers of climate change. Food decomposing in landfills emits methane, a greenhouse gas that has at least 25 times more warming power than carbon dioxide. As a result, food waste and scraps make up 8% of all greenhouse gasses emissions — two times more than the emissions from aviation.

As it is such a big driver of climate change, we should all do our best to reduce food waste. But some food will still get wasted despite our efforts, and food scraps are hard to avoid. That’s why composting is a good solution.

Not every U.S. state separates food waste out as part of trash collection, but there are other options. Blue Earth Compost is a food waste and scraps collection company operating in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Customers like households, municipalities, and businesses pay the company to collect their plant-based waste. Blue Earth Compost then pays other companies to take the waste away and transform it.

Some of these companies compost the food waste. They reduce greenhouse gas emissions while producing a natural fertilizer that they sell to gardeners and farmers. Others have more high-tech solutions that use food waste to create gasses. These gasses can become high-value products such as hydrogen, renewable natural gas, ammonia, or even electricity. 

Note that Blue Earth Compost doesn’t share these firms’ revenue. Plant-based waste is so abundant that it’s considered more of a burden than a resource. Instead, Blue Earth Compost makes money by charging its customers more for collecting the waste than it pays composters and anaerobic digesters to take the waste away. It acts as a middleman in the waste collection chain.

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