Soil Cycle gives back, offers solution to bear trashcan dilemma

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A group called Soil Cycle rides around on bikes gathering food scraps that otherwise would be dumped into landfills and then converts that food waste into compost.

Once a week, Soil Cycle picks up food waste from its members, then puts it in this contraption and eventually you have compost or what farmers called black gold.

The whole idea of composting is to not let food scraps go to the landfill because that creates methane which is a harmful greenhouse gas.

Soil Cycle is a non-profit encouraging residents in downtown Colorado Springs to sign up for their curbside composting pick-up service. In May they started a drop-off site so people outside of their pick-up area can still participate.

The group currently has a drop-off site at the West Side Community Center and they are hoping to add one at Ivy Wild School as an alternative solution alongside the new bear smart trash ordinance.

Composter-in-Chief of Soil Cycle, Nat Stein, said it’s the food waste inside the trash cans the bears want.

“Part of the issue with the bear-proof trash cans is, yes they prevent a bear from getting into your trash, but they don’t prevent bears from coming to your trash. If there is food waste in your trash, that’s what they are attracted too, they are looking for food,” said Composter-in-Chief Nat Stein. “So, as part of an approach to public safety in those areas, that are susceptible to the bear encounters, composting can be a good solution for keeping the food waste — which is attracting the bears — out your trash in the first place.”

If you’d like to drop-off compost it’s $12 per month.

On Wednesday volunteers rode through downtown to deliver sacks of fresh compost via bicycle to members of Soil Cycle.

The food scraps members have donated throughout the year have been turned into compost. Now, for every person who donates food scraps, once the process is complete they get some black gold for their gardens at home.

They say this process only works with every person doing their part like spokes in a wheel.

“Giving back to people that have been inputting compost especially by bicycle, makes me pretty happy and makes me proud to live in this community,” said Allen Beauchamp, with Bike Colorado Springs.

They are also taking leaves to help with the composting processes. So, if you rake your yard you can just drop it off at 1090 S. Institute in Colorado Springs.

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