Welcome to the Haul of Fame, a weekly series from Rubicon in which we sit down with a hauler partner to talk about their company, their community, and how they’re collaborating with Rubicon in our mission to end waste.
Compost Crusader, based out of St. Francis, Wisconsin, has been hauling organic waste and converting it into compost since 2014. What originally started as a local education program and a personal interest has grown into a company with four trucks and 200 commercial customers across the Southeastern Wisconsin area. Compost Crusader has been working with Rubicon since 2017 to help service commercial and residential customers interested in composting solutions.
Melissa Tashjian, Founder and President of Compost Crusader, sat down with Rubicon to talk about her company and mission for the Haul of Fame.
How does Rubicon’s mission to end waste match-up to Compost Crusader’s own company mission?
Compost Crusader: When I was young, recycling was a new effort that I embraced with enthusiasm. I would travel from Chicago to my parent’s house in the suburbs so that I could recycle my old cans and bottles. Composting is now that next-generation recycling effort that needs our support and can help drive the change we need to improve our planet. Our company mission is to create a culture around sustainability that empowers individuals and organizations to divert organic material from the landfill in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. That’s why I think Rubicon and Compost Crusaders are such great partners.
How does Compost Crusader distinguish itself from the competition?
Compost Crusader: I started this business because I noticed a gap in composting in our community. There was a need to establish new habits and build knowledge around waste and recycling, and specifically, composting. A big point of emphasis in my company and with our employees is we want to work with the willing. We want to work with organizations and customers who want to learn about source separation and how to do it better to help the planet. I work with customers and organizations where sustainability is critical to who they are and how they work, and that is incredibly satisfying for our entire company.
What is the view of Compost Crusader when it comes to participating in the circular economy and helping build a more sustainable future?
Compost Crusader: As we work to expand our composting business into the greater Milwaukee area, I think about the value proposition our company has—a value proposition which is directly related to the circular economy. We are working with customers of all sizes to help them understand and adapt to circular economy thinking: taking food waste, turning that food waste into compost, and then using that compost in a finished product like a company garden or lawn to grow new food or plants.
What do you love most about the community in which you work, and the customers you serve?
Compost Crusader: I love the St. Francis and Milwaukee area, it’s like a big little city where everyone seems to know each other. We have built a family-like atmosphere in our own company and even named our composting hauling bins—two eight-yarders called Stinkzilla and Stinktinni, a 12-yarder called Stinkarella, and a 25-yarder called The Big Stink. We enjoy the work we do, the customers we serve, and the mission we have to help the planet and build a more sustainable future.
Where does Compost Crusader see itself five years from now?
Compost Crusader: We would like to expand into the Madison, Wisconsin area as well and see the entire cities of Milwaukee and Madison makes composting a requirement. We are on a mission to educate the world on the benefits of composting, and we’re starting right here in the great state of Wisconsin.
Lori Sullivan is Vice President of Hauler Operations at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.