Q&A with the Compost King of Atlanta

Compostwheels is poppin’ a wheelie on the way to help Atlantans dispose of their food waste. For the past 5 years, Compostwheels has connected consumers and farmers in the Atlanta area by picking up household food waste and turning it into nutrient-rich compost. The company is driven by peddle power, offering bicycle pickup right at your doorstep. And recently, they’ve expanded to offer compost services for businesses here in the city – including our very own Rubicon headquarters!

In honor of National Learn About Composting Day, we decided to chill with the founder and chief composting officer, David Paull, to get the deets on his awesome company and, you guessed it, get schooled on what’s to love about compost.

  • Why did you decide to start Compostwheels?

I was working on an urban farm and realized that it was too time consuming on the farmer to go around collecting ingredients to make good compost, and there was no way that I, as a consumer, could responsibly dispose of my food waste. So, I decided to bridge the gap between the farmer and the consumer and began to repair a broken nutrient recovery system.

  • What were you doing before you started Compostwheels? Was it hard to make that leap?

I was a full time student at the Savannah College of Art and Design. I chose to study design because there is a specific process of thinking that I felt could be applied to creating businesses that are good for the earth and people. As a sophomore, I decided to give it a go and put into practice what I was thinking and learning. I started Compostwheels and it grew quickly. So, I had to learn how to manage and hire people quickly. The best hire I will ever make was my Dad. He came and helped me grow the company while I finished school.

  • Have perceptions or mindsets changed much since you started?

When I started this in 2012, there was a small group of people talking about composting. That group is now a medium to large group. So, yes, I do feel that mindsets and perceptions are changing. We spend a great deal of time working with students of all ages teaching them the value of composting and caring for the stewardship of land. I believe investing our time in educating others about composting is the most valuable and will ultimately lead to an active generation leading the way to solutions for solving our most pressing environmental and social issues. And, if that could be traced back to a wiggling worm in a kid’s hand, I would be over the moon excited.

  • What still gets you out of bed every day (other than the smell of decomposing food)?

I feel a strong sense of purpose and urgency in the work we are doing. It is very rewarding and thrilling to steward the growth of the business and our nutrient recovery system in this city.

Do you live in the Atlanta area? Want to turn your household spoil into soil for local farmers? Check out our friends at Compostwheels. For the past 5 years, Compostwheels has connected consumers and farmers in the Atlanta area by picking up household food waste and turning it into nutrient-rich compost.

Interested in diverting more than just food waste? Chat with a Rubicon waste and recycling solutions rep to see how we can make your waste more sustainable – for the environment and your bottom line.

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