Our Story

Gainesville Compost was born in a post-college home in 2011, as I nurtured a newfound passion for growing food in a small rented lot in a neighborhood known as the Gainesville “student ghetto.” My curiosity about composting became a hobby and then, eventually, a business.

Want to be inspired? Watch our short film presentation for the 2015 US Composting Council Conference panel entitled “The Status and Future of Community Composting:”

For my roommates and me, the garden was a centerpiece. We’d cook the food we grew with our friends, and we’d wine and dine outside among the plants.

After cooking, we’d deposit our prep leftovers into a thriving compost pile beside our kitchen door. This waste, processed by composting worms and millions of microorganisms, would return to the garden after a couple of months and nourish the next generation of food.

Fascinated by this cycle, I began asking friends who worked at restaurants if they’d bring me some of the kitchen waste for me to expand my composting. One of those friends brought it over to me with a bike, and thus began the initiative of bike-powered community composting.

Gainesville Compost is a pedal-powered community compost network in Gainesville, Florida.

Today, our Bike-Powered Food Waste Diversion program collects kitchen waste from numerous local restaurants, cafes, bars, and residents and turns it into a rich and diverse blend of local compost and vermicompost called Soil Food.

We do all collections by bike and divert local food waste to a distributed network of partner composting sites at urban farms, restaurants, churches, and other organizations.

Thanks for being part of our story.

Chris Cano
Compost Experience Officer (CEO)

Contact Info

For questions about products, services, events, or to schedule a phone call, email info@gainesvillecompost.com.


Thank you students, newspapers, and Gainesville media for publishing stories and photos about Gainesville Compost! If you are working on a print, photo, or video story, please get in touch.

Below are the articles and online publications where we have been featured or mentioned:

  1. The Independent Florida Alligator: UF Grad Starts Compost Service for Local Restaurants
  2. The Gainesville Sun: Company Finds New Life for Restaurant Food Scraps
  3. Little Green Things:
  4. INsite Blog: The Midnight: Sustainable Wall Garden
  5. The Fine Print: Soil Food
  6. INsite Magazine: Gainesville Compost Founder Chris Cano Named One of Gainesville’s 25 Most Interesting People
  7. The Alligator: Local organizations plant garden to celebrate World Food Day
  8. The Alligator: Composting company celebrates first anniversary
  9. The Alligator: Chomp and Chew: Tempo Bistro To Go utilizes local ingredients
  10. Our Town Magazine: Gardens From Garbage: Compost Network Diverts Food Scraps Away From the Landfill
  11. The Gainesville Sun: Blue Oven Kitchens, Inc. (See Photo 3 of 7)
  12. Alli Langley, Gainesville Photographer: Compost, a portraiture project
  13. The Gainesville Sun: Porters potluck (See Photo 20 of 20)
  14. The Fine Print: The Passion Behind TEDxUF
  15. The Alligator: UF Alpha Chi Omega sorority to go green with Gainesville Compost
  16. The Gainesville Sun: Making waste reduction work
  17. The Gainesville Sun: Gainesville Compost turns food scraps into black gold (front page story)
  18. WUFT News: Gainesville Restaurant Sells Soil Back to Farmers
  19. WUFT News: In Florida’s best recycling county, bearded man has repurposing plan
  20. LA Times: L.A. Compost: Bike group turns restaurant waste into garden gold (Our Gainesville initiative is cited as the inspiration!)
  21. Gainesville Sun: High school entrepreneurs become ‘a unified family’
  22. Gainesville Sun: Chris Cano: Spirit of Gainesville nominee
  23. The Alligator: Local compost organization to offer post-Halloween pumpkin pickup
  24. GTN News: One Gainesville company wants your old Halloween pumpkins
  25. Gainesville Sun: Chris Cano: Spirit of Gainesville nominee
  26. The Alligator: Composting company to present at national conference
  27. The Alligator: Darts & Laurels 1/24/14 (Gainesville Compost receives “you’re-in-the-big-leagues-now” Laurel)
  28. BioCycle: Entrepreneurs See Opportunity in Food Scraps Collection (national story!)
  29. The Alligator: Homeless-friendly institutions’ food donations prove ranking wrong
  30. Catalysta: Waste-Powered Progress: Interview with Chris Cano
  31. WUFT: Gainesville Composts to Divert Waste
  32. BioCycle: The Business of Community Composting
  33. The Alligator: Local organizations work to reduce waste of Gainesville businesses

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