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.
Fertile Ground Cooperative is based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and provides composting and organics recycling to residents and businesses in the Oklahoma City metro area. With three trucks and 10 employees, Fertile Ground uses 96-gallon polycarts to collect and compost a wide variety of food waste. Founded in 2011, Fertile Ground has been working with Rubicon since early 2018.
Terry Craghead, Operations Manager and Owner of Fertile Ground Cooperative, sat down with Rubicon to talk about his company and mission for the Haul of Fame.
How does Rubicon’s mission to end waste match-up to Fertile Ground’s own company mission?
Fertile Ground: Our mission at Fertile Ground is to help protect the planet through environmentally beneficial services and worker-owned jobs. We do this by providing composting, recycling, and zero-waste event services to keep waste out of the landfill and incinerator. As with Rubicon, ending waste is at the very core of our business.
How does Fertile Ground distinguish itself from the competition?
Fertile Ground: We are a small company that provides a very high level of service, working with customers to solve waste issues. Our residential and commercial compost service is unparalleled in the region. Our 96-gallon cart in-office recycling service is popular because neither the city nor most property management companies in the area provide recycling to their tenants. We make it easy for folks to do the right thing.
What is the view of Fertile Ground when it comes to participating in the circular economy and helping build a more sustainable future?
Fertile Ground: One of our deeply held values is the awareness that we live on a finite planet and that we have a responsibility to our children, and all life on earth, to leave the planet in a better place than we found it. We believe in this value very strongly. Aside from the services we offer, we have put most of our energy into circular economy thinking, building a market and demand for finished compost products through our work and organization with the Oklahoma Compost Conference. It’s not enough to simply divert compost from the landfill. You have to help create a market for the finished compost we’re diverting. In addition to our waste services, we now manufacture compost filter socks, which are sediment and erosion-control devices used in construction to prevent sediment and other contaminants from getting into stormwater. It is this connecting work of saving resources and creating new products from those resources that inspire us.
How has the Rubicon technology in your fleet of vehicles helped you and your drivers in their everyday job?
Fertile Ground: Rubicon’s technology has been critical to our success as a routing device for all of our waste services. It allows our drivers to have up-to-date routes, turn by turn route directions, and to document any route issues all in one place. It is fantastic and has really allowed us to grow our routes quickly through data and information.
Where does Fertile Ground see itself five years from now?
Fertile Ground: We hope to be diverting organic waste and recycling at a much greater capacity using large containers, automated collection trucks, and capturing multiple municipal-level contracts. We also hope to open up a public drop-off center for regular and hard-to-recycle items, creating many jobs through recycling.
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.