As spring very quickly starts to look like summer, it seems fitting that this is a time of deep reflection and rapid rebirth for this little composting business, too.
Like any small business, ScrapDogs relies on the unique support of its customers to pursue its mission. We can't say it enough: we are forever grateful for all the love, enthusiasm, and investment our community has put towards this project.
And of course, like any small business, ScrapDogs has experienced some growing pains and road blocks – and will continue to do so. Our business model has changed and expanded more than once, and will certainly keep changing into the future.
In this time of uncertainty and risk, we've been struggling to determine what the path forward looks like for ScrapDogs. For a small-margin business, it's important to us that we explore creative ways to broaden our services while also bolstering and buffering current operations. But because of COVID-19 and our decision to suspend services (and a few other good old-fashioned hurdles), we've faced not only limitations on our growth, but risk to our ability to sustain the business at all.
For these reasons, we've made a few important decisions regarding what our operations will look like moving forward. We hope these decisions will help us to sustain and grow ScrapDogs well beyond the pandemic, and to continue prioritizing you – our customers and our community – above all.
Keep reading for our updates on compost deliveries and food scrap collection.
As you read in our previous email, we're facing significant obstacles in getting compost to you all this spring, including a major engine failure in our dump truck and (more recently) the refusal of the warranty company to cover repairs. We have made the decision to move forward with repairs and cover the cost ourselves, but the warranty dispute and backorders due to COVID-19 have severely delayed the timeline, pushing repairs back at least another month from now.
With this in mind, we are changing our primary method of compost delivery. Rather than delivering in bulk in the spring or fall, we will now deliver compost in smaller burlap bags throughout the year, on a regular schedule. This model is similar to a number of other small composting companies, and allows us more flexibility in how we deliver.
In order to get some amount of compost to you as soon as possible, we will be delivering one bag of compost to every customer in the coming weeks. We will send out an update on this delivery schedule in the next few days, as we establish our bagging and drop-off process.
Beyond this first delivery, we'll work out an ongoing schedule for bagged compost delivery throughout the year, to make sure every customer is still able to receive their allotted half yard of compost (if they'd like it).
If you would still like to receive your entire half yard delivered in bulk, please let us know. We realize that some folks have been preparing for these big deliveries, and we'll do our best to work with you and figure out the soonest time we can deliver it.
Also, please feel free to let us know if you would not like your bag of compost!
FOOD WASTE COLLECTION
We have been making big strides towards restarting our collection services safely and effectively, and hope to resume food scrap pickups in June. Below are some of the checklist items that we have been working on in order to resume.
ScrapDogs has until now worked at its partner farm (Bo Lait) and various temporary sites to empty, wash, and store its buckets and toters. But because of COVID-19, we have decided to commit to a more permanent location to carry out these and other company tasks and are currently pursuing a lease for a space in Rockland.
Once we have secured a space, we will be installing a more robust and reliable washing process to ensure our buckets, toters, and other equipment are fully sanitized before returning them to customers. This process will include a large pre-wash soaking station, a commercial-scale dishwasher and sanitizer, and additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for whoever is washing.
We will also be upgrading our collection operations to avoid the potential of cross-contamination between clean and full containers, using either two vehicles in a caravan or one vehicle with a trailer to separate equipment.
These and other precautions are not only a reaction to our current circumstances, but a significant investment in the vision for a sustainable future for ScrapDogs. We hope that they excite you like they excite us!
As always, please feel free to reach out to us by email (replying to this one), phone, or social media, and we'll do our best to answer your questions with compassion and candor.
Wishing you all many more sunny days!
Tessa & Davis
First of all, we want to thank you all deeply for your patience and understanding as we work through this difficult time. We truly couldn't do it without all of you!
We have heard from many of you expressing support and seeking updates from us, and we want to sincerely apologize for not getting our updates out more frequently. We've had a few major roadblocks these past couple of months and we're working hard to get back on track!
As was mentioned in our previous emails, we are indeed still planning to begin compost deliveries this month!
However, as a result of delays and limitations due to COVID-19 and a major engine failure with our dump truck (everything at once!), we don't yet feel confident scheduling deliveries or ensuring that all requested compost will be delivered by a certain date.
We recognize that this poses a significant inconvenience to those of you hoping to get your gardens going! We will be in contact as much as possible to keep everyone up to date with our repairs and plans.
FOOD WASTE COLLECTION
In order to establish updated collection, processing, and cleaning operations that we feel adequately address potential risks, we will not yet be restarting collection services.
However, please keep an eye on your emails for updates, as no one is more eager than we are to resume services, and we hope to do so soon!
Thank you again for all of your patience and support. We hope to see all of your faces (and buckets) again soon - and until then, please expect to see more updates from us.
Tessa & Davis
First and foremost, we want to send our well wishes to you all and your loved ones in these tough times. We feel especially grateful to live in a close-knit community through these hard days, and sincerely appreciate the kind words we've received from many of you.
Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we attempt to react responsibly to the changing situation. While we hope to resume our services as soon as the risk involved in doing so has been minimized, we do not yet know when this will be.
Please note that TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 1st, we will be suspending all automatic PayPal payments and reimbursing all those who have been charged for the past two weeks of missed services.
Also, please note that we are still planning to carry out deliveries of finished compost in May. We will be in touch with more details about this soon!
We have already received some thoughtful emails from customers who have offered their help in this difficult time. As a small, relatively young business, we deeply appreciate the support that our community is able to give that makes sure we can offer composting services into the future.
If you are able to do so, please consider helping us by pre-paying for services.
By paying now for services that you will receive once we resume, you'll be helping us to cover regular payments, save up for major upcoming expenses, and prepare to resume services safely, as soon as possible.
Click the button below to learn more:
Additionally, if there are ways for ScrapDogs to help you or your loved ones, please let us know! We will continue to be in touch regarding updates to our operations throughout.
Sending much love and thanks,
Tessa & Davis
What to do with uncollected food waste
FILL AND SEAL
With the ScrapDogs bucket you already have, you can continue to fill it up, then seal the lid tight and store the bucket outside or in a garage. With the lid on tight, there should be minimal smell or disruption.
FILL AND SEAL
With any other buckets or containers you have lying around at home, you can do the same thing and store sealed containers in a logical place. We will happily collect any additional food waste containers at the end of our suspension for no extra cost.
Of course, we all do this anyways! But during this time, it will be particularly important to reduce food waste at the source. Here are some food waste reduction ideas from the EPA to help!
DUMP YOUR FOOD WASTE WITH YOUR OTHER TRASH
Although our least favorite option, it may be the most reliable for many folks. Difficult times call for difficult measures, and we hope that we can work hard to make up for lost time (and food waste) post-suspension.
Due to the rapid growth in number of confirmed cases in our service area, we have made the decision that ScrapDogs will suspend its drop-off and residential pickup services for one month, starting immediately. We still hope to resume services the week of April 12th. Our first priority is to keep ourselves and our customers safe to the extent that we can. We feel that these are appropriate measures to take in this situation.
Please note that this means that we will not be picking up buckets this week (Wednesday 3/18 or Friday 3/20). Additionally, our transfer station drop-off services will be closed off, effective today. We understand that this will pose a significant inconvenience to many of you. Below, we've outlined some ideas for handling your food waste in the interim.
Regarding payments, we will be in contact regarding reimbursements for missed pickups in the following weeks.
We are always available to be contacted by email. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns, or if you need any help while self-isolating. We feel very grateful to live and work in such a supportive and caring community, and we look forward to being able to celebrate that with you all in due time.
Wishing you all our best,
Tessa & Davis