This month, SocialVentures had the honor of sitting down with one of the brilliant minds who was a Sea change Finalist – Alexandre clemetson of Together we compost! Learn about the history of Clemetson, the dream behind the company and its hope for the future of making the community and world of Columbus a better and more socially responsible place.
Heide Rembold: Can you give me some information about yourself? What is your experience with the social enterprise space?
Alexandre clemetson: I am an Afro-green theologian passionate about community, food systems and access to food. I have done work in community development and find this business to be a continuation of that work. This is the second social enterprise that I have been a part of in a few years and I am excited about the direction this business is taking!
RH: What was the idea and inspiration behind Together We Compost?
THAT: I dream of Ensemble’s vision, we have been composting since 2019 and I participated in a company called the Cultural market in 2020. When it didn’t work out as planned, I moved in early 2021 to bring Together We Compost to life. In this discovery process, the ultimate goal has been to build community-driven businesses. TWC’s inspiration is to develop an easy daily practice that impacts both the planet and the community on different levels. Our impact is measured in terms of the food waste diverted from landfills, the employment opportunities offered to those who face barriers to entering the workforce, and the education we can offer.
RH: How does Together We Compost work? What makes it a social enterprise?
THAT: We offer food waste collection services for individuals and businesses, on-site compost management and event services. For households, we use a 5 gallon bin model where members can add their food waste for us to pick up weekly or biweekly with contactless pickup services. Our mission is to ensure that members of the BIPOC community have equal access to impactful educational resources and opportunities.
RH: What are the things that you have accomplished with Together We Compost so far? (i.e. SEA Change certainly counts as one of them!)
THAT: Some of our accomplishments to date include being a recipient of the SEA Change Award in which we received $ 25,000 and a variety of in-kind donations. We have also expanded our partnerships to three farms, our membership list is growing, and we are expanding our business partnerships with restaurants such as Chapman’s.
RH: Where do you see the future of Together We Compost? What are your biggest visions, hopes and dreams?
THAT: Going forward, I see Together We Compost being a Franklin County-wide service that is offered alongside waste and recycling. The development of such a partnership will coincide with the development of a processing center that demonstrates the need to change compost zoning codes in Columbus, which creates more employment opportunities and community resources through the diversion of food waste.
To learn more about Together We Compost and to support their mission, visit twcompost.squarespace.com.
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