ORLANDO, Fla. – One man with a truck and a pitchfork — that’s how Charlie Pioli described O-Town Compost when he started the business a little more than a year and a half ago. Now, he has a team of workers and a workspace in an Orlando warehouse.
O-Town Compost is a subscription service where Pioli and his team give customers a bucket lined with a compostable bag. The customers then fill that bucket with their food and organic waste. O-Town Compost collects the bucket for composting and leaves a fresh bucket in its place. Twice per year, the company delivers a 20-pound bucket of compost, which Pioli calls “black gold,” back to their customers.
“We have one composting site out in Winter Garden that can handle a significant amount — may be eight tons of food waste per week. And then we have a composting site being constructed on the 4Roots Farm Campus and that also can handle a similar volume,” Pioli said.
Part of O-Town Compost’s growth comes from Pioli’s partnership with John Rivers and his 4Roots nonprofit. Pioli and Rivers met through a business accelerator program at Rollins College, which the composter enrolled in during the pandemic. Rivers served as a mentor to Pioli. The warehouse the O-Town Compost now operates