Lansing-based Glad Earth Composting offers subscription-based composting services

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Adam Barker is the owner of Lansing-based Glad Earth Composting. (Photo: Karen Abbott-Trimuel)
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“Making the earth glad one bucket of kitchen scraps at a time”

By Karen Abbott-Trimuel

LANSING, Ill. (September 5, 2022) – Lansing resident Adam Barker is the owner of the growing business Glad Earth Compost, a residential composting service in Lansing. Barker started composting seven years ago as a personal hobby and experiment.

“Composting is a natural process of recycling organic matter and a way for communities to ensure they benefit healthily by reducing carbon emissions, contributing to the health of our soil, conserving our water, and diverting waste from landfills,” said Barker.

Glad Earth Compost offers a monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly subscription service for those interested in composting and becoming subscribers. Glad Earth Compost delivers a five-gallon bucket with a sealable lid and compostable liner. Once the subscriber fills the bucket with kitchen scraps and other compostables, Glad Earth picks up the bucket and empties and replaces the liner on the scheduled day. Each pick-up means subscribers have saved around 25 pounds of green waste from a long death in a landfill.

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Earth-focused business

Adam Barker and his wife Alli are the parents of two small children and are passionate about ensuring they do their part to make a healthier and safer environment for their family. This desire led Barker to learning about sustainable living, caring for his community, and a search of how landfills affect the world.

“Because the world is so big, it’s easy to forget that negative environmental impacts affect people too. For example, using poisons or pesticides in industrial farming or lawn care, though they are effective, the awful effect is that eventually, the poison will go into your dirt and, like the rain, will flow into creeks, rivers, lakes, and right into our water systems. You may someday drink the same poison you put on your lawn to kill a weed. So, when I began learning about composting, it was then that I found out that putting my scraps into a landfill daily also negatively affects me, my neighbors, and others around the world. And, that’s where it all started for me,” said Barker.

Once Barker began learning the composting process, he quickly became excited about sharing the information with family and friends. And from there, Glad Earth Compost grew and now offers its customers monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly subscriptions to naturally dispose of their organic materials.

Composting basics

Composting comprises four ingredients: air, water, carbon-based materials, and nitrogen-based materials. It can feed the soil while assisting it in retaining its moisture and providing nourishment for the plants.

Everything has a little bit of carbon and a little bit of nitrogen in it,” said Barker.

For example, organic materials the subscribers provide are nitrogen-based such as standard kitchen scraps, toilet paper rolls, grass clippings, and other organic materials. Next, the materials are mixed with carbon-based materials such as wood chips, Barker’s preferred choice to provide the carbon. Once the two are combined, the composting process begins. The organic materials are turned to give the required air to provide moisture, a crucial step that speeds up the decomposition process.

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Left: Bucket of organic nitrogen-based materials received from subscriber. Right: This pile shows the composting transformation happening. (Photo: Karen Abbott-Trimuel)

Once mixed, the transformation begins, and Barker moves the various transformation stages from one pile to the next. Each week the pile is turned over and becomes less recognizable, and eventually, the process is finished, and the compost takes on a form that looks a lot like dirt.

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Final transformation as organic nitrogen-based materials complete the composting process. (Photo: Karen Abbott-Trimuel)

But, as Barker said, “compost is categorically not soil, but when blended with soil, it adds nutrients to the soil and helps with its structure, as well as assisting the creatures living in the soil to move around more freely.”

Another passion of Barker’s is his garden, where he grows a host of fresh vegetables. Then, after every fall, when the garden is complete, Barker adds the compost and puts wood chips on top, which helps to maintain the soil’s moisture and protect it from the sun.

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Adam Barker uses compost in his garden. (Photo: Karen Abbott Trimuel)

Getting started

Those interested in Glad Earth Composting’s services can visit www.gladearthcompost.com to learn more get started. Barker also offers consulting services for anyone interested in becoming composters. Currently, Glad Earth is only serving subscribers in Lansing and Munster.

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Karen Abbott-Trimuel is a playwright, author, motivational speaker, and freelance journalist who has lived in Lansing for 17 years. She has always been passionate about writing and storytelling and enjoys meeting and inspiring people. She has established a reputation for writing quality entertainment through her stage plays, authored two books, "Ladies Night Unmasked" and "Check Your Assets and Know Your Value – A Woman's Guide to Becoming Her Authentic Self," and written an article "Are You Happy?" for the online writer's platform Writer UnBoxed. Karen is excited by writing great stories that uplift, inspire, and strengthen the Lansing community.