Situated on Myrtle Avenue in Bushwick, BK ROT is a unique organization that offers fossil fuel-free food waste hauling and composting service. The project was started by Sandy Nurse and Renee Peperone when they noticed the lack of a food scrap drop off in Bushwick and an increasing demand for an organics waste hauling service for households and small businesses not adequately serviced by the city or private haulers. Sandy, who formerly worked for the United Nations World Food Programme and had experience as a bike deliverer, became fascinated with New York City’s bike economy and saw the possibility for a bicycle powered business for organics hauling and composting.
In addition to its hauling and drop-off services, BK ROT has grown a retail arm where it sells the compost made on its site, while also offering educational workshops and tours. These hands-on workshops allow BK ROT to teach the community how to do lead testing and soil remediation; schools in the area have been noticeably interested in exposing students to the composting process and its environmental benefits. BK ROT’s compost stands out as some of the best tested in the city, which is especially important as North Brooklyn’s soil has been tested with some the highest levels of pollutants.
BK ROT’s waste hauling service increased in the years since it started in 2012 and it has become a favorite of environmentally conscious households and local businesses in need of small waste hauling. By filling a niche of hauling small amounts, BK ROT is able to service businesses whose locations may not be covered by other haulers or businesses that do not create enough organic waste to warrant service from larger haulers.
Hauling for small businesses has become such a large component of its operations that BK ROT has decided to spin the service off into its own entity, Just Hauling. This new commercial entity will allow BK ROT to train and educate the next generation of composters and help them monetize their new skills. As the city’s environmental needs change, BK ROT shows us that we can be catalyst of change in our local communities and still gain economically.