Waste Not, Want Not

Check out four facilities that have mastered the art of composting–to great greening and beautifying effect!

Osmosis has used compost since the 1980s!

Jivana Holistic Spa


jivanaspa.com, Burlington, VT

“Spas create a lot of waste, so we compost everything we possibly can,” says owner Cathie Hansen-Barre, who launched Jivana’s straightforward, indoor compost operation in September, 2009. Jivana feeds its compost bags (which are also compostable) tea scraps, flowers (used on trays and in foot baths), employees’ food scraps, and used paper towels and cups. Then, every two weeks (during summer, every week), Hansen-Barre hauls the materials down the block, to a natural foods restaurant where a local company regularly picks up compostable items.

Hansen-Barre’s initial challenges included finding a system for dropping off waste materials (eventually solved by teaming up with the restaurant) and avoiding the fruit flies that tend to gather around the waste in warmer months. To solve the latter, “We now store the materials under the sink of our prep area, in a smaller container, and we don’t have a problem,” she says.

Hansen-Barre recommends that spas begin their composting system by researching local companies that pick up materials. Then, purchase composting containers and bags, label separate garbage cans for compostable materials, and broadcast your efforts to guests (Jivana explains its system on its website). “A lot of materials used in spas could be compostable if owners simply make little switches,” she says.