Q: Can I just purchase the product and not the composting service?
Waste Less Living has adopted a policy that we will not sell the product if the customer can not demonstrate that he/she is capable of properly composting the waste or that the waste will be hauled to a commercial composting facility.
Q: Can I compost the product(s) in my backyard?
Although the product is 100% compostable, they are meant for commercial composting and not backyard composting. In a commercial composting facility, the product waste is fed through an industrial sized chipper/grinder: 1) to reduce the bulk and volume of waste being processed; and 2) to facilitate microbial access and activity. Generally speaking, the cutlery and cups are cut into smaller pieces to reduce the amount of time involved for biodegradation to occur. Additionally, off-site composting facilities generate significantly hotter temperatures that is needed for composting of the product.
Q: Can I recycle the product?
The products are not recyclable as they are not petroleum based (the raw material used in plastic). If they are disposed of in the recycling bin, they become contaminants to the recycling waste stream and will not be used in the manufacturing of another product. Ultimately, the tableware will either be sorted out and sent to the landfill or will become part of the waste byproduct from the recycling process as opposed to compost or hummus.
Q: Does the product come in any other color, pattern or themed design?
No. The product is relatively new on the market. The plates are generally either bleached (white) or unbleached. The cutlery is a natural cream or off-white color. The corn-based cups have a solid green ban around the outside with text that reads: “This cup is made from corn and is 100% compostable.” This is intentional as it heightens the awareness of the user.
Q: Will the product melt?
Yes. Please refer to the previous question. Also, depending on the utensils purchased, whether the heat-resistant or non-heat resistant type, they can be subject to melting. The heat-resistant utensils, however, are good for hot foods up to 200 F are the preferred type for soups. The non-heat resistant utensils are good for warm and cold foods up to 120 F and are generally acceptable for all food types.
Q: What do I do with any left-over product?
Items (ie., cutlery, cups, plates) are typically packaged in sets of 50. Waste Less Living offers a refund on product that is returned fully packaged. To encourage client/customer to be ECO-mindful, the final charge to client/customer for the product will be based on the quantity used, soiled, damaged, and any leftover product from opened packages. The customer has the option of either keeping any leftover product (opened packages) for future “Waste Less” events or if returned to Waste Less Living, Inc., the leftover product will be used as a donation towards sponsored community events. This service does not apply to events over 200 guests where a per person charge will be assessed for service.
Q: Why are aluminum cans and glass bottles discouraged if I plan to collect and recycle them myself?
Waste Less Living is in business to help the consumer reduce his/her overall waste up-front so that less waste is generated that needs to be managed on the back-end. By opting to offer recyclable beverage containers, a substantial amount of material is still generated that has to be handled and dealt with. The recycling process is actually very energy intensive when considering all the inputs such transportation, operations, manufacturing, packaging, distribution and end use of the recycled product. In addition, recycling is an industrial process that, in fact, has its own slew of environmental impacts associated with it including: air quality, water quality, biological resources, public services and utilities, land use conflicts, noise, and traffic.
Q: I am having my event catered; can I still use your services?
Absolutely, we can work directly with the catering company or directly with the host in providing the supplies and composting services.
Q: What size events do you service?
Any size ranging from as small as 10 guests up to 5,000.
Q: What is your payment policy?
Total payment is due upon services rendered the day of the event. We require a non-refundable 50% deposit for events over 300. An additional 10% fee is charged for invoicing, past-due invoices and restocking of 500 pieces total.