Sponsored by George Fox University
Home Back Issues December 2011 Company composts pet waste

Company composts pet waste

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

1211_PoopComposting_01
Kaci Gerke taking care of dogs at the Sniff Dog Hotel, which uses Green Pet Compost’s services. 
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina
When Steve Dreiling took over son Lance Donavan’s Green Pet Compost Company in early 2011 it had 100 clients. It now has 200 residential clients in the Portland metro area (as well as Gig Harbor, Wash., where Dreiling lives) and 10-12 commercial clients, including the Stay Pet Hotel and Sniff Dog Hotel in Portland.

When Donavan started the company in 2009, the idea was to keep dog waste — and the plastic bags that often encase it — out of the landfill. Collecting it and composting it would not only offer Oregonians a greener option, but Green Pet Compost stood to profit on both ends of the process.

The pickup business has been doing well since Donavan started it, but the compost business needed to be ramped up. Steve and brother Greg invested the capital to bring the waste to Poulsbo, Wash., and compost it.

The startup costs for composting pet waste were steep. The in-vessel composter itself ran about $40,000, plus they needed forklifts for moving the compost around. Even though they built the mixers and augurs themselves, the Dreilings invested $100,000 in startup costs alone.

The reuse aspect is still in its early stages. The first batches of compost were only finished midway through 2011, just in time for Oregon’s busiest growing season to wrap up. The Dreilings have hired a marketing expert to help overcome the “yuck factor,” as Dreiling calls it, and get the product to potential clients who use compost year-round. Only one-fifth of Green Pet Compost’s capacity is being used.

Overcoming the yuck factor is going to be a matter of getting the compost onto the shelves and into flowerbeds. “Once we mix the waste with a carbon source, primarily sawdust, there is no smell,” he says. During the compost process, the whole vessel stays consistently hot, at 131-150 degrees for 72-100 hours, which kills all pathogens.

For now, customers can buy the finished compost at a wholesale price, and bags will be delivered at the next scheduled pickup. Green Pet Compost is working to get the nitrogen-rich product into retail stores.

Green Pet Compost has plans to expand in the future from organic and natural pet foods and toys to natural gas produced by composting that can power the pickup and delivery trucks. But the company’s focus right now is on the composting operation and getting the compost into the market.

“Pick-up is doing better than compost,” says Dreiling. “We hope that’ll change.”

 

More Articles

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

OB Video: Building trade ties with the EU

News
Monday, June 16, 2014
BritEmbCampionBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

The Oregon economy could get a boost from a new trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

The role of higher education as K-12 underperforms

Contributed Blogs
Friday, May 30, 2014
ThumbChalkboardBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Since 1970 the performance of our public education system has steadily deteriorated.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS