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There is a huge project starting up in South/Central Phoenix (spreading valley wide) and it is going to change the way a large percentage of organic waste is collected in the Phoenix metro area as well as create a way for local businesses, restaurants and our local communities to gain access to high quality foods at a low cost and with a substantially lower carbon footprint.

Growing Rogue is a forward thinking company that is aware of the challenges that the city of Phoenix is facing when it comes to waste collection. Did you know that 34 million tons of food was wasted in the year 2010 within the United States? The amount of waste generated was only second to the amount of paper waste. Of the 34 million tons, only 3% was recovered and recycled while the remaining 33 million tons made it into landfills and incinerators, according to the United States EPA. You can find out more by following THIS LINK.

This issue is not just a national problem, but it is a huge local challenge that Growing Rogue is dedicated to overcome. With the help of Cascadia Consulting Group, the city of Phoenix conducted a characterization study in 2003 to find out how much of our local household waste is recyclable, compostable or waste that must be either incinerated or buried in landfills. Out of 283 samples taken from all around the valley, they found that a whopping 49.4% of all household waste IS compostable. These organic materials can actually be gathered up, processed and reused for many different purposes. Unlike the above figures, an overall of 17% of the organic waste is being captured making the strain on trash collection contractors, like Waste Management, so overwhelming that it is causing unacceptable and unnecessary costs to pick up this extra 195,176 TONS of excess waste. Imagine what a burden it is on our material separation at the dump, not to mention the sheer waste of much needed room in our landfills around the city. The goal is to get that 17% organic waste diversion up to 40% by 2020. This will only be possible with the help of community awareness and local companies that care, such as Growing Rogue.

The organic waste recycling is only the beginning of Growing Rogue solution. Once the waste is picked up by using transportation processes that use absolutely ZERO petroleum based fuels, the materials are processed through a commercial composting process that sterilizes the organic materials, leaving nutrient rich stock that is then mixed with soil that has an abundance of 'Good' microorganisms and then fed to the plants that will be grown on community gardens throughout the entire City of Phoenix. Learn more about this process here

The reason I am writing about this is to raise awareness of projects such as these and to educate anyone that will listen so that we can all work together to make a difference. There are many perks lined up for people that want to get involved in such projects, such as low cost/high quality produce :) I for one, am going to play a huge role in getting the first property up and running. I was going to be working on my own garden anyways, so why not pitch in and help an entire community?

Looking forward to your comments! Keep in mind that I have lots of resources to back up all the stats that I had listed in this quick blog. Stay logged in for more as this venture progresses. 

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Comment by Andrew Pisher on October 13, 2012 at 9:22am

Growing Rogue has been putting together an urban farm on 19th Ave and Maryland. They are ready to start planting, here is a link to a blog I have been writing as the farm progresses and it is right here on the VPA site:

Comment by Catherine, The Herb Lady on September 27, 2012 at 5:38am

Andrew, good site beginnings - keep us all posted.  A 'sustainable' system as you folks envision is exciting.

Comment by Andrew Pisher on September 26, 2012 at 4:19pm

The website is coming along, there have been some very good changes. We are working on getting a FAQ section going so people can see how the gardens operate in the Phoenix area. Check it out :)

Comment by Catherine, The Herb Lady on August 13, 2012 at 7:56am

Andrew I am also very interested in how the concept goes - it sounds great, ambitious and with great potential.  You might also pass on to the owner that some more specifics about how the company will benefit the community, e.g., more detail than just growing the food.  Distribution? Locations? (More than parking lots - which is great as far as the general visual goes).  If for instance the projects would be very, very localized, i.e., an apartment complex with its own community garden, compost recycling etc.  He does not have to give away his proprietary ideas, just more of who, what, and where.  So many concepts are formulated for 4-season areas.  Desert specific has more challenges but more rewards.

Comment by Andrew Pisher on July 27, 2012 at 7:27am
I will pass that along to the website owner :-) He is much more interested in building the project than he is in proofing and editing his site. I will offer some assistance for sure. Thank you Lisette.
Comment by Lisette Volkmar on July 26, 2012 at 7:10pm

I like the concept, will be interested to see how it goes.  One easy thing to improve your credibility would be to proof read your site for homonyms.

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