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Oklahoma City composting business helps apartment dwellers go green

Fertile Ground Cooperative in Oklahoma City offers composting services to those who don’t have a yard.
BY CATHERINE SWEENEY, Business Writer Published: July 3, 2014

Back yards are no longer required for Oklahoma City residents to compost.

Fertile Ground Cooperative, a local business dedicated to urban green efforts, offers composting services to those who live in apartments or other small spaces.

Composting is taking organic materials like food scraps and lawn clippings and helping them decompose. The product is used as fertilizer for gardens and flower beds.

As much as 25 percent of waste can be composted, according to an information sheet from the city’s utility service center. Composting diverts waste from landfills.

Composting benefits aren’t only environmental, said founder Terry Craighead.

“I just don’t like wasting,” he said. “When you take food scraps to the landfill, you’re ... sending valuable nutrients to do nothing.”

Because the city has to pay for waste brought to landfills, composting also offers economic benefits.

Fertile Ground works on a subscription basis.

Customers go to and fill out a request form. During a subsequent consultation, customers can opt into a pick-up service and a drop-off service.

Pick-up subscribers will have a 5-gallon bucket delivered to their home. The bucket has a screw-on lid with a carbon filter. This keeps the “bad smell” in, but allows air to flow into the container.

Every Wednesday, workers will come to the house, pick up the bucket and replace it with a clean one.

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