Green Scoop is the very first business in the United States that converts pet waste into energy. As the leader in the industry, Green Scoop has been able to overcome many obstacles, while sustaining significant growth. This in-depth interview below reveals what it took to start and what it will take to continue as a truly green business. Budget Dumpster is not the only environmentally friendly waste removal service in Columbus. Green Scoop is “Poop with Potential!”
How did the initial concept for Green Scoop begin?
I started out with the help of ECDI my ‘adviser’s’ family when they came back from Europe, where they compost and reuse they are limited to the amount of waste they can sit out for pickup. They put the idea in my head to compost and I took it from there.
What types of responsibilities come with being the first business in the U.S. to turn pet waste into energy?
Many!! You’re inventing the wheel, with that comes lots of trial & error, no mentor or direction. The up-side is, it is challenging and gives my business a unique niche I can be proud of.
What are some obstacles you must overcome to continue your tremendous growth? Will it be hard to continue expansion, while remaining sustainable?
This is a GREAT question and one that I could talk on for hours. Remaining sustainable is what I base my business from. Green Scoop is a Social Business and I plan to fight and work hard to keep that alive. Remaining sustainable is seen as a non-profitable business, that takes too much time and labor to produce a solid business. I hope to change this concept and show that you can build a solid business, that is also sustainable and remain this way, even with growth. The key is not to get to big to fast and grow slowly, so you can keep the business in the same direction and concept to set out to do in the beginning. This also takes lots of education, awareness and talking with the public. To answer second question directly…”Yes”
Obstacles to over come with Green Scoop with growth, is its uniqueness…machines, equipment and finding solutions to build a good work FLOW. These things are not made and all need to be constructed and specially built. They just don’t make things for Dog waste to Energy companies… when its just me.
Not only is your service sustainable, but your operations also are green. Why is sustainable business practices so important to Green Scoop?
It’s everything. What we are about and what we stand for. Its important to be consistent across the board and stick to the plan. I want to reach our goal by running the business the way I promised from the beginning.
Although you already offer a variety of options to collect pet waste, what are some other options you may include in the future?
I may incorporate horse manure removal. The best answer to this question is when it comes to pet waste, whether you are a resident or commercial business, everyone works differently and Green Scoop has successfully found a way to find a solution for most situations, including vet hospitals, dog parks, condos, family’s with over 10 pets and even doggie day cares.
Green Scoop offers green pet supplies. Why is it important for our pets to be using environmentally conscious products?
Health! Not just your pets but yours too. First, Green Scoop offers natural kitty litter our brand is called “Conscious Kitty” all you have to do is goggle why choose natural kitty litter and you will get tons of answers the first is most non natural litters contain silica & sodium bentonite, which is also in that dust you inhale and your kitty inhales.
Compostable bags is another must. Compostable bags have a good and bad side to them, but they decompose and break down unlike bio degradable bags like most people believe. The truth is even if you buy compostable bags and throw in trash, they will not compost.
The problem is these products are always so much more expensive well guess what… Green Scoop has fixed that problem. It no longer costs be 2x more and we deliver for FREE, right to your door. We even do this for mulch, topsoil and compost too.
Besides the sustainability aspect, what are some other reasons people should sign up for your service?
Convenience and fun!! Yep that’s right fun, did you ever think picking or scooping up waste left from your family pet fun? Well it can be not just fun but exciting too! I get many reasons why people like the service beyond being sustainable… “Your reminders keep me on top of my yard,” “I don’t have to use bags anymore,” “The bucket makes it easy to pick up my waste,” ” Scooping litter is 10x easier now,” “Less hassle when I have free delivery on products I need,” “I’m so excited and can’t wait to start.”
Green Scoop also cleans yards, but what is great about our service is that you can switch back in forth between Green Scoop cleaning and bucket service.
What is the process after the poop is picked up and how it is transformed into energy?
Process of the transformation is extremely complex and would take an engineer to explain. To simplify methane is captured then transformed into electricity to run plant and also natural gas to fuel vehicles. Any extra electricity that is not used to run facility is feed back to the grid. The best part is at the end! Even though you capture methane, you still have a solid left over well the solid is then cleaned and placed into tanker trucks to be spread on farmers fields for fertilization and compost. So nothing is left behind.
Green Scoop also operates a food waste to energy service. How does that differ from the pet waste business?
It doesn’t by much, what it does vary from is composting of food waste. Green Scoop only does food waste to Energy, we do not compost. Turning waste into Energy is a much faster process then composting, which in turn, solves the problem of being able to take and process more waste at one time, we can keep up with the waste that is coming in.
With food waste to Energy Green Scoop can take all foods including oils. Just have to stay away from any type of bag, plastic or paper. This is because they do not process fast enough and cause clogging of pipes and end up on farmers fields, no on which makes for a bad looking and dirty compost. no one wants trash in there compost!!
Green Scoop customers receive a compost kitchen bin & a 5 gallon bucket with air tight lid. When Green Scoop comes to the home, we give the customer a clean 5 gallon bucket and take the full one. The small compost kitchen bin is used so you can easily transfer waste from your plate, then when full you dump into your 5 gallon bucket usually placed in a garage or outside.
90% of the waste collected is converted into energy. What is wrong with other 10% and what happens to it?
Nothing is wrong with it, this comes from customers and our ‘Poop with Potential’ stations. Compostable bags can not dropped into energy facility they take longer to breakdown. So they must go to composting, where they are placed into an in-vessel composter that will start the at least 3 month process of decomposition of the compostable bags. Bio degradable is a big NO NO these bags do not break down and look exactly the same as when they went in. If they do finally start to breakdown it will not start until after 5 years… this is much to long to wait when your bring in tons of waste a month
How much pet waste have you been able to divert from the landfill?
Around 3 tons every month.
At first, you only collected dog waste. What is the difference that now allows you to collect cat waste? Any plans to collect anything else?
Why not? The more we collect the less goes to landfill and the more renewable energy is created. There is no difference, you just need to be using natural litters which Green Scoop now has. I can’t even burn away the non natural litters.
I plan on collecting more awareness and would like to bring more parks on board. The more people see the stations and signs the more questions they will ask which will bring education and interest. Who doesn’t want to see waste be turned into a renewable resource?
What advice can you give to environmentally conscious pet owners that are outside of your service area?
I have many people that are part of Green Scoop out of my service area that just pay a little extra for the trip out, but if your still to far, I would advise them to talk to their park district/ dept. If you are still in Ohio and your out of my area, if your park district signs on for service maybe for there dog park or trails. This allows Green Scoop to now service your area. It is sad, but that is all I can suggest with out Green Scoop service there isn’t anything else you can do, but please at least pick up your dogs waste.
Why haven’t other pet waste services adopted similar environmental efforts?
Too much money, hassle, regulations and work!! Doing things the way they have always been done takes little prep time, less money and more return on your investment. It called fast cash. Inventing the wheel and doing things the correct way from start to finish is time consuming and a big headache, you would have to have lots of passion and determination, which I have.
Have you ever found anything interesting while on the hunt for pet poop?
LOL!! Funny, yes I have! colorful poop caused by crayon eating and lots of squeakers from dog toys always find their way out in one piece.
What is the easiest way to start taking advantage of Green Scoop?
Call 614-699-0011 or sign up on web at www.GreenScoopPet.com that easy! Please use the service to your advantage make it work for you cause it will.