Melissa Tashjian likes to play with worms. Not for the crawlers themselves, but for what they crawl in.
"I love that stuff, I mean it's black gold," she said. That stuff being completed compost.
Tashjian's business Compost Crusader has taken thousands of pounds in waste out of Southeast Wisconsin landfills to make compost.
"Last year we diverted more than 856,000 lbs. of material," she said. "And that was just amongst 35 customers."
She said businesses break even on trash paying her to take food scraps. She hopes others will join in, too.
"Landfills are not infinite space," she explained. " So at some point our landfill will cap. We'll have to come up with another solution, but I don't think we need to wait." she said.
Tashjian said the solution exists in place like Compost Crusader, and Wastecap Resource Solutions where TODAY'S TMJ4 met up with her to talk about Earth Day.
"We go in and salvage those materials before those houses come down in order to save some of those from the landfill," said Joe Libeau Jr., the executive director for Wastecap Resource Solutions.
To keep even more waste from landfill, they invited Tashjian to join them on Earth Day to teach people how to prevent food waste.
"Just because we focus on construction and demolition doesn't mean we want to lose track of food waste," said Libeau Jr.
He said they take materials from home projects and foreclosed homes in Milwaukee. It's one way you can join the mission.
Tashjian suggests getting a compost bin from the city or checking out Kompost Kids to get involved with composting on your own.
She said the City of Milwaukee is discussing a compost pilot program. In it you would have a bin, like a trash bin, to put your compostable materials. It's not finalized yet, but Tashjian said you can call your alderman to let them know if you're interested.