Land and Funding Needed for Delhi Community Compost

Land and Funding Needed for Delhi Community Compost

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Delhi Community Compost started this petition to Delhi Town Council

Delhi Community Compost was started to serve the community in Delhi, NY to reduce their environmental impact by providing a food waste composting service. Maria Schermerhorn and her brother Joel started this business from the ground up, using their hard-earned money from their “day jobs” along with lots of sweat, trial and error. Unlike many of the other hundreds of “Community Composting” businesses that are sprouting up across the US and the world, they faced unique challenges due to the rural target population, no outside funding and less than 1/2 an acre for their composting operation. They didn’t want to go into debt to buy more acreage, because they first wanted to see if the community would be interested in their services. Using mostly recycled materials, used equipment and only purchasing necessities as their own funds allowed, it slowly started to succeed. But, by summer 2019, they were scrambling to handle all the incoming food waste and compostables, while also doing all the weekly pickups, events and marketing, while juggling their other responsibilities. The insufficient land, time constraints, lack of manpower and equipment was further complicated with a rat issue that was difficult to eliminate and affected the neighborhood. Despite working very hard to resolve the issues, some of the neighbors decided to involve the Delhi Town Council without having an actual conversation with us. Other neighbors (that are in support of what we’re doing) let us know and encouraged us to reach out to our members and supporters. We never intended to cause issues with our neighbors and knew that we’d eventually need other property to move our composting facility to. Despite efforts to communicate with them, thus far it’s been unsuccessful and there’s even rumblings of them trying to “shut us down” via the Town Council. Yes, we’ve made mistakes and “bit off more than we could chew”, but we’ve spent the past several months resolving the issues we can. Yet, we only could do so much without adequate land, additional equipment and manpower. So we’re asking you to join us in our petition to the Delhi, NY Town Council to help us get what’s needed to continue offering this needed service vs a “crease and desist order”. 

Photo is of the main composting area and rear fence line is the property border. 

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