Community based microhauling and processing hubs for food-scraps
Microhauling is the collection of organic waste by small-scale, low-emissions vehicles, such as electric cargo bikes (ECB). Microhauling can replace garbage trucks for many residential and commercial food scrap pickups. Furthermore, microhauling typically feeds local community composting operations. This system of local hauling and processing brings numerous benefits, including the reduction of truck traffic and the associated emissions of transport and landfilling. Disadvantaged communities disproportionately bear the externalized costs of our waste infrastructure and environmental pollution.
For this project, a NYC-based manufacturer of ECBs will partner with community organizations dedicated to creating more equitable and environmentally responsible waste systems. We will radically expand microhauling and local processing capacity (measured primarily in pounds of food waste collected and processed).
This expansion will be facilitated by the recent growth and acceptance of ECBs; advanced small-scale processing technologies; and favorable policies that allow the large-scale integration of microhauling into our waste system.
Small-scale distributed microhauling and processing is an accessible community-based solution to organic waste diversion.
Nimble and zero-emissions electric cargo bikes replace large and polluting garbage trucks. These smaller vehicles (with capacities up a quarter-ton) are more appropriately sized for the typical disposal loads of residences and small businesses. This allows for more flexible and efficient operations.
Assuming adequate capacity, microhaulled waste is then processed locally, thus reducing the need to export food waste to far away landfills. The resulting product, compost, is used within the community with numerous benefits. Composting as it's traditionally done requires physical labor, time, and space, precious resources in our city. We adopt food waste processing machines to overcome these constraints. Each machine can process tons of material daily, reducing input volume by up to 90%. We will site these machines throughout the neighborhood in buildings and vacant lots.
Supporting infrastructure like digital apps and curbside consolidation will increase efficiency and ease-of-use.
BK ROT is a local non-profit composting and youth employment service that employs local youth in Bushwick, Brooklyn for their microhauling and composting operations which creates opportunities for often excluded youth to participate in our city's green economy. Our solution honors and expands that practice.
We seek to grow BK ROT's capacity from 150 to 2,600 tons per year, which is the regulated annual tonnage cap for microhauling organizations. Along the way, we will also demonstrate and build matching service demand with local restaurants through outreach and sales. Our goal is to demonstrate an impactful and replicable model that fits into our city's future waste system.