Surprisingly, our subtle personal habits can have the largest ecological impacts. The EPA estimates that food is the largest single contributor to landfills and incinerators.
In fact, 22 percent of municipal solid waste is discarded food where it becomes methane, a potent greenhouse gas nearly 30 times more effective than carbon dioxide at warming the planet.
Landfills are a finite resource, and are being filled with valuable resources - organic material in healthy soils. Organic material is needed to rebuild our soils, which are being lost at a rate of 4 tons per acre per year.
Soil loss means:
- Reduced nutrients in food
- Poor air quality
- More carbon being released into the air
- Rising temperatures
- Reduced arable (farmable) land - 1/3rd of arable land has been lost worldwide
- Looming food crisis
Vulnerable communities (disproportionately communities of color) living near landfills can experience adverse health effects including cancers, respiratory diseases and birth defects from exposure to noxious gases like methane. These environmental injustices to land and people feel hurtful and disharmonious at many levels.
When food waste is composted instead of thrown away, it becomes nutrient-dense soil that actually pulls carbon dioxide out of the air, protecting both humans and the earth’s health.
Reducing food waste and regenerating soil are two of the best ways to reverse climate change. Composting food scraps does both.
This is where we fit in!
CompostableLA offers a simple, subscription-based food scraps pickup service in Los Angeles that gives motivated folks a vehicle for change in a meaningful way. Members can choose from a weekly or bi-weekly plan. On their pickup day, members leave their full bin outside their home and we exchange it for a clean one.
With our partner LA Compost, we coordinate donating those food scraps to local farms, gardens and community composters all over the city where it is turned into healthy soil and available to LA communities.
We’re a women-owned, BIPOC-owned company whose mission is to close the loop in our food system by transforming former waste into future nutrients, by encouraging environmental justice and by providing transparency around food waste systems in Los Angeles. Our emphasis is on empowering local activations, relationships, and communities through education and partnerships that aim to regenerate the balance of earth now and seven generations ahead of us.
We are raising $60,000 at an interest rate of 8.00%, paid over a six-month interest-only period and a 54 month fully amortizing period.
We transform food waste into future nutrients.
- Food waste diverted to date: 50,000 lbs
- Greenhouse gas emission offsets: 46,196 lbs
- Our bins are reused from local bakeries
- Our sawdust bags are made of upcycled fabric
- Our sawdust is sourced from reclaimed barnwood
- All waste is processed within 10 miles of where it’s generated
- Soil is given back to our members or distributed throughout the community
- We are women owned and BIPOC owned company
We’ve been written about in the LA Times, TreeHugger, LA Design Festival, and featured in a number of podcasts. We’re members of the United States Composting Council, Community Composters Coalition, and the LA Chapter of the California Alliance of Community Composters. Recently, our partners LA Compost recognized our work as community partners at their Annual Gratitude Party.
As of November 2020, we have eliminated 46,196 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions..
For the investors in CompostableLA, we’ve taken great care in prioritizing how the money you invest will be spent to reach these projected goals and optimize your return on investment (ROI).
Below, we explain more about our priorities and how your money will be invested.
Summary of Costs - in order of priority
Green Delivery Vehicle - $24,500
Pro Delivery Management Software - $7,500
Advocacy / Legal Services - $10,000
Marketing / Brand Strategy - $10,000
Working Capital - $8,000
Deeper Dive of Costs
Priority 1: Investing In A High-Capacity, Green Delivery Vehicle - $24,500
Since 2019, we’ve been very scrappy and creative with one small, hybrid vehicle, but we’ve been adding so many new members that we’ve outgrown this option. We will use a portion of the loan to invest in a green-option van that will allow us to minimize trips, while also adding more members and ultimately moving more food scraps with a lower carbon footprint, overall.
We estimate that a vehicle upgrade will allow us to double our current membership by mid-2021.
Priority 2: Upgrading to a Professional Delivery Management Software - $7,500
Our heart is with the people and cultivating transparency and human connection. Having someone to call and interact with is what people loved about us the most when we first began.
It’s easy with a small team to sustain a high level of quality – on-time deliveries, skip deliveries, low-missed pickups – when we have fewer members, but as we’ve really started to grow, we are learning to balance operations and drivers with being real, available humans. Having a delivery management tool is essential to help with that.
Your investment will help us optimize efficiency on our current growth trajectory, as well as stick out amongst our competitors in these key areas:
- Customer management
- Order management
- Billing management
- Route management
- Inventory management
- Communication management
- Reporting + Data
Having a professional management tool will allow us to better manage and measure delivery efficiency while ensuring the quality experience that makes our service simple and easy.
Priority 3: Safeguarding Our Business and Members with Policy + Legal Services - $10,000
Our company’s growth, and your ROI, rests in part on local government support and legislation. We consider ourselves a small-scale, community compost hauler. Unlike large-scale waste collectors, we aren’t explicitly defined as community composters in the legislation created by the City of Los Angeles and LA County. Right now, we’re able to work within the current ordinances, but it feels like we are swimming in a swimsuit made with someone else in mind.
We believe there is a place and need for both small and large food scrap haulers in order to have the most impact on climate change. We’ve partnered with the California Association of Community Composters to create a LA chapter of allies in order to push for policy that empowers and openly recognizes local nonprofits and businesses like ours.
Your investment will help cover the legal costs associated with advocating, consulting, researching, and drafting contracts, customer and partnership agreements that will help protect us and our members now while also reimagining legislation that will better define our role in Los Angeles. Our policy approach is focused on community-growth and diversity of hauler types and sizes. It is inspired by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s “Hierarchy to Reduce Food Waste and Grow Community” framework.
Priority 4: Maximizing Our Potential Customer Pool With Marketing & Brand Strategy - $10,000
We’ve done well in our early years with organic growth, like community referrals and having a social media presence on Instagram. Looking forward, we are planning to expand and diversify our product offerings. We’re not the experts on product-market fit or pricing tier structuring in all these spaces. That’s why a portion of your investment will be used to hire a marketing and brand strategy team that can help us plan and roll out new services and products, as well as work with us to create the design assets that allow us to connect with our members in a transparent and honest way. The stability of CompostableLA will be greatly improved by these added products and so will your ROI.
Priority 5: Working Capital - $8,000
To cover short-term liabilities and unexpected costs related to scaling, we are designating a percentage of your investment to cash to help us operate.
Implementing this project will allow us to scale, serve more communities, and eliminate more greenhouse gas emissions.
When CompostableLA's founder, Monique Figueiredo, moved to Los Angeles, she wanted to continue composting just as she had been doing in her backyard in Boston. There was only one big problem: she had no idea where to start. Without an outdoor space or community composting bin in her complex, she was left with researching a service on her own.
After two months of looking, she found a compost pickup service and decided to try it out. Sadly, it was unreliable and overpriced and after six months (and a stolen bin that cost $88 to replace!), she decided that enough was enough. This was not sustainable or equitable! Composting isn’t a luxury.
That experience left her feeling inspired to start a compost pickup service that was simple and accessible. This would become CompostableLA. Monique flew solo for seven months before bringing two Women of Color as her co-owners, Janae D. Green and Jamie Renee Williams, to grow the business to where it is today.
Everyone deserves access to nutrient-rich soil!
About the Owners
Monique Figueiredo - Chief Executive Officer / Founder / Co-Owner
Monique founded CompostableLA in 2019 when she saw a need for additional community composting resources. Her vision for a community-led organization is woven through the fiber of CompostableLA's foundation.
Monique has over 8 years of non-profit experience in human services. She progressed from direct service to management, becoming an advocate for mental health funding and worker safety issues. She has since shifted to sustainability as her avenue to serve others, since caring for the natural world ultimately benefits its inhabitants as well. Monique completed UCLA's Sustainability Certificate program and further developed her regenerative agricultural knowledge through Kiss The Ground's Soil Advocate program.
Jamie Renee Williams - Chief Sustainability Officer / Co-Owner
Jamie leads sustainability at CompostableLA. In this role she advocates for activating the company's core commitment to help close the food system loop through community-led composting, policy advancement and community operational excellence in three key realms - equity, environment and economy.
Bringing together expertise in UX Design, anthropology, urban gardening and garnering senior management experience. Jamie is committed to holistic, inclusive approaches to environmental challenges that facilitate transformation of culture and planet. She recently completed a certification in Harvard's "The Health Effects of Climate Change" course and attended a training called "Coaching Address the Impacts of White Supremacy and Anti-Blackness" hosted by Healing Justice Liberation.
Follow our journey on Instagram: @compostable.la
Doing Business As
|Install equipment + buildout|
$30,000 - $60,000
Monthly, disbursed to investors quarterly
6 months interest only + 54 months fully amortizing
Blanket lien on assets of company
Honeycomb Portal LLC
Your Earnings Potential
If you choose to invest, you will make a one-time investment via ACH that will be transferred to a secure escrow account. If the campaign successfully reaches its target, the funds will be distributed to Compostable Inc..
For more information on the mechanics of Honeycomb’s crowd investing platform, please review our Education Materials
|Investment Amount||One-Time Fee||
Return: Interest-Only Period*
Return: Amortization Period*
|Potential Total Repayment*|
Your ongoing responsibilities from investing are very limited. Over the life of the loan, you will receive a yearly 1099-INT, which is a simple tax document similar to what you receive for most savings accounts.*Individual payments may vary slightly based on rounding. Potential repayments include principal and interest; they do not include the one-time fee which is assessed when you make your investment. These amounts are calculated as a hybrid interest-only + amortizing loan, which means that there is a specified interest-only period followed by a an amortization period. There are no prepayment penalties and Compostable Inc. may pay down their loan early, which may impact your earnings potential. Please note: returns are not guaranteed and investors could lose some or all of their investment.
Compostable Inc. pays as agreed. You will receive quarterly payments directly into your bank account. In the event of a default, you will be contacted by the administrative agent to manage the collections process on the investors' behalf.
How Honeycomb is Compensated
Honeycomb charges Compostable Inc. a $250 posting fee and a 7.0% - 8.0% loan origination fee on the total amount funded.
Additionally, to cover expenses associated with each investment, Honeycomb charges a 2.85% investment fee capped at $37.25 per investor.
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