With less than two years operating in Calgary under their belt, Hop Compost has already revolutionized how we produce compost in our city. Hop’s employee base may be small, but they are certainly mighty – they’re supporting local restaurants to create zero waste models, keeping tonnes of food waste out of Calgary’s landfills, and providing local growers with nutrient-dense, organic compost. Hop invited Thrive and Momentum to come learn more about how they’re developing a local, sustainable, and closed-loop composting method.
Their system begins with local restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels. Some big names have been fans for a while – Community Natural Foods just announced that they’ve diverted over 200,000 lbs of waste from landfills since they began using Hop’s services. They provide their commercial clients (including The Nash, Village Ice Cream, and Market 17) with standard green compost bins, which are used to collect food scraps, spoiled produce, and other compostable items. The bins are picked up on customized schedules, clients are given a freshly cleaned bin, and the waste is taken back to Hop’s facility in Manchester Industrial Park.
This is where the real magic begins. Hop Compost has the exclusive Canadian rights to HotRot composting technology. These giant compost machines are completely enclosed – meaning no odor and no pests – just pure organic compost. It gets better though! Normal compost can take months to produce and is incredibly labour intensive to manage. Food waste going into the HotRot machines comes through in only 11 days. The entire process happens inside the machines and can be completely managed using the external computer interface. When you factor in the 30-day outdoor curing process, Hop is producing local, organic compost in around 41 days. So the coffee grounds from the espresso you ordered from Cafe Beano at the beginning of May? They could be fertilizing local crops as early as June.
Almost unbelievable, given the technology involved, this process gives a completely natural composting experience for food scraps. There’s no water, no heat, no microbes – HotRot provides a small ecosystem that allows for a natural process to take place and produces amazing, nutrient-dense compost. The waste is broken down so finely that all traces of pesticides are eliminated – meaning organic compost is created from non-organic waste. Hop ensures these standards are met with third party testing each quarter.
Showing no signs of slowing down, Hop is continually expanding their pick up network – they’ve just signed all the the Earl’s locations in both Calgary and Vancouver. Hop has been able to grow their capacity due to their triple revenue stream business model that has resulted in a thriving business capable of paying employees a living wage. They’ve even expanded their small employee base by providing employment to cleaners hired from the Drop-In Centre. Beyond pick-up services and their compost sales to both businesses and individuals, Hop is also able to sell carbon credits because of how much waste they divert from landfills each year.
Through their closed loop system, using technology to tackle our growing waste problem, and innovative thinking, Hop is truly creating the best compost in Canada. Hop has a 100 mile selling radius, so if you’re in Calgary area and in the market for nutrient-dense, naturally-processed, organic, and locally sourced compost – check out Hop Compost online store.
Learn more about Hop Compost and their services by visiting their website.
Check out this short video about Hop Compost in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lvU4ei7O-w
Need compost for a home or community garden? Order Hop’s nutrient dense compost online!
Support some of the amazing local businesses taking part in Hop’s compost revolution.