How to Get Decision Makers Onboard with a Commercial Composting Program

Composting is one of the easiest ways individuals can reduce their ecological footprint. It is as simple as separating food scraps and allowing them to transform into compost for their home or neighborhood gardens.

Many may see a great amount of food waste happening in their office or restaurant, but may not know how to implement a composting program. 

Additionally, many people may feel that a composting program would take up too much space if they live in a smaller setting such as an apartment complex or campus dormitory.

Getting a composting program started at your apartment complex or workplace may be easier than you think and you can make a substantial difference by encouraging the decision makers you know to make the change.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that you, your friends, coworkers, and neighbors can do to get a commercial composting program up and running.

1) Do Your Research

In order to present the idea to the decision makers, it’s important that you understand the scope of the project and the details that go into it. You’ll need to be able to answer any questions that they might have for you, as well as make recommendations about what service to use.

Find Local Commercial Composting Services

The first step will be to find local commercial composting services in your area. Contact them for details of their service, experience, and to get a pricing list to show to your apartment company or managers at work.

Find Success Stories

An important part of convincing decision makers that a composting program would be a good idea is by sharing examples of how it has been successful for others. 

The closer the success stories are to your own situation, the more effective they will be for making your case. For example, if you want to get your property manager of your apartment onboard, use examples of successful composting programs at apartment complexes. This will let them see what kinds of results are possible through commercial composting in their specific context.

2) Get Public Approval

It’s a good idea to get others in your building, workplace, or school interested in a composting program before you go to your decision makers. Start by sharing your findings with them, and explain why and how composting would be beneficial. Pay attention to any interest it generates, and recruit those who share your excitement to help you put a case together for your organization.

Here are some ways to go about this:

Survey Your Peers

Setting up and sending out a survey is a great way to gauge people’s feelings toward implementing a composting program. Things to consider when creating a survey:

  • Pose your questions in an unbiased manner: don’t phrase your questions in such a way that your own opinion is obvious to the reader. Instead, stick to a neutral position to allow the reader to make the most accurate response.
  • Stay away from open-ended questions: open-ended questions ask the reader to make personal comments, whereas closed-ended questions have a fixed set of answers to choose from, such as “yes” or “no,” or multiple choice answers. This will provide more conclusive results for you and your team.
  • Make your set of answers balanced: if a question asks how the reader feels about composting, and you have “great” as an answer on one extreme, you want to make sure the opposite extreme reflects the potential feelings a person may have. In other words, don’t make your reader choose between “great” and “good” – give them the opportunity to choose “not good” or “bad” as well. This is another way to keep your own bias out of the survey.

Create a Petition

Getting signatures to support your goal of composting is another important way to help you present interest to the decision makers. When obtaining signatures for a petition, keep these things in mind:

  • Short and sweet: when presenting your petition to others, be able to explain your message in a quick and concise way.
  • Eyes on the prize: state your goal simply and directly. “Our goal is to implement a commercial composting program at our school’s cafeteria.”
  • Make room for growth: along with spaces for names and signatures, be sure to include boxes for contact info such as email and phone numbers, as well as a box to check for those interested in being contacted as volunteers to help your cause.

Hold a Meeting

Holding a meeting can be another helpful tool for getting others onboard with starting a food waste composting program, especially amongst tenants in an apartment complex. As a renter, you have the right to form a tenant association with your neighbors in the complex and meet together to discuss anything pertaining to your living situation at the apartments.

Organizing meetings is a great way to garner interest and plan how to present sustainability initiatives like composting, to your landlords and property managers.

3) Pitch the Program

Once you have gathered all the necessary info and the support of neighbors, fellow students, or coworkers, it’s time to present your idea to your organization’s decision makers. Consider the following to make the best pitch:

Know Your Audience

You should make your pitch based on who you are pitching to. Consider what they will be looking to get out of a commercial composting program. For instance, if talking to a property manager of an apartment complex, they may care most about financial components of the plan, while the director of a school or managers in a corporation may care most about sustainability goals.

When making your pitch, know the story you are trying to tell and make it engaging and compelling to the listener. Consider how to get them to see themselves in the proposed program.

Benefits to highlight may include:

  • Environmental: composting diverts waste from landfills, reducing emissions and helping the environment.
  • Corporate: implementing a commercial composting program is a relatively simple transition that can have a significant impact on the company’s ESG evaluations.
  • Communal: composting is an easy and effective way to help the local community by creating natural fertilizer from otherwise wasted material.

Use Data Visualization

Make the best use of all the research you’ve done by presenting the data you’ve collected. The most effective way to present data is to make visuals such as graphs or charts. Show what you’ve learned about pertinent questions such as how much food is wasted on average, and what percentage of total greenhouse gas emissions from landfills is from food waste. This kind of data will help you demonstrate the benefits of supporting a composting program.

Be Specific

Be as specific as you can be about the details of what the program will require and what it will produce as results. Take the solutions you have learned about through your research and explain the work that will be involved with them.

4) Follow Up

After making your pitch, it may take the decision makers some time to consider your proposal. This is to be expected, but it is ok to follow up with them after at least one week following your presentation.

When touching base again send the decision makers an email, and include the following:

  • thank them for their time
  • reinforce the ideas you set out in the proposal
  • make sure they have all your contact info and invite them to reach out to you with further questions

Get Started Composting with Moonshot

Moonshot Compost offers composting solutions to the Houston, Austin, Dallas, and Waco areas in Texas. If you live in these areas, we are ready to help you and your group set up your own commercial composting program. 

Even if you don’t live in Texas, feel free to use our program and the advice on this page as a jumping-off point for you and your decision makers to get the ball rolling.