We recently sat down with Justen Garrity, President of Veteran Compost, a food scrap compost facility located in Harford County. Justen is passionate about providing jobs for veterans and turning food scraps into organic compost to reduce waste.
EAGB: Tell us about Veteran Compost.
VC: We are a veteran-owned business focused on collecting and composting food scraps. We collect food scraps from residential and commercial customers throughout the Baltimore/DC Metro Area. All of the material is composted at one of our sites and the compost is used by farmers and gardeners to grow new plants. We are the only permitted food scrap compost facility in the region.
EAGB: Where did the idea for Veteran’s Compost come from?
VC: I got home from Iraq in 2009 and couldn’t find a job. So, I started looking around for business ideas and gravitated towards the recycling business. I saw that 2/3 of all the trash in America is compostable and few people are out there composting it. So, I thought it was a good opportunity.
EAGB: Why did you choose to locate your business in Aberdeen?
VC: I looked at properties throughout Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania when I tried to get started. The property we found in Aberdeen for our first site was a good location and a good fit for our business.
EAGB: Tell us about your work with local companies like McCormick and T Rowe Price.
VC: If people have food scraps to dispose of, or plants to grow then they are usually interested in our business. So, it has led to a lot of projects with well-known businesses like Wegmans, MOMs Market, T Rowe Price, McCormick Spice Company, MedStar, University of Maryland Medical Center and Shoprite. Even M&T Bank Stadium is a customer. So, if you don’t finish your hot dog at a Ravens game, it might end up in our compost pile.
For more information about Veteran Compost, visit www.veterancompost.com.