photos by Mackenzie Frank
While the farm-to-table concept is well-known to foodies, a young Ohio company is completing that circle by returning table scraps to the farm. David Andre founded GoZERO to make composting organic food waste more accessible for businesses and individuals around western Ohio.
GoZERO drops off 64-gallon rolling compost bins at contracted schools, restaurants, apartment buildings, events, and elsewhere and picks them up every one to two weeks. The bins are taken to composting centers where organic waste is converted into compost for growers. Consumers can order Fork2Farm compost in 5-pound bags on the GoZERO website.
“We’re like a document destruction company, but rather than shredding paper, we take organic material and make sure it goes to a composter,” Andre explains.
Since launching in 2016, GoZERO has spread its footprint to Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, and rural areas and small towns in between. GoZERO saw wide adoption in 2018, tripling its accounts between February and October.
“Have truck, will travel,” Andre jokes. “We service both sparsely and densely populated areas.
“From a collections side, there’s not been a lot of companies scaled for the services we’re providing,” he continues. “Some services take waste and return finished compost. We wanted to do this for restaurants that have food waste but no use for finished compost.”
GoZERO will soon establish its own composting facility in Springfield. “A lot of composting facilities are industrial in scale,” Andre says. “We’re more a microbrewery for composting. Think of us as a ‘compostery.’
“In Ohio, there’s no public mandate that says you can’t put food waste in the landfill,” he says. GoZERO can’t compete with landfilling from a cost standpoint, but it can help offset business costs by taking away the wettest, heaviest parts of the trash stream.
“We can do the heavy lifting,” Andre says. “Get in touch and we’ll be thrilled to talk.”
A professional writer and Certified Cicerone, much of his writing is about books and film (he is a National Book Critics Circle member), he writes a lot about beer too! David is a regular contributor to Craftbeer.com, PorchDrinking, Indiana on Tap, and Dayton City Paper’s beer section.