Central Illinois business owners offer eco-friendly solution to waste problem

Open For Business

PEORIA, Ill. — From trash to landfill, your carbon footprint of waste may be more than you realize.

For Yvonne Rosenbohm and her husband Luke, the amount of waste in Central Illinois was an eye opener. The Rosenbohm’s fix came in the form of launching Better Earth Logistics: a local composting business working to make the earth a little greener. 

“I don’t want our boys to end up getting out of college and saying, ‘We have a mess that our parents made to clean up,'” co-owner Yvonne Rosenbohm said. “So want to be proactive and we want to do something to fix it now so they don’t have to do it.”

Under the partnerships, Better Earth picks up compostable waste from local businesses and takes it to a site near the Peoria International Airport where it ultimately biodegrades.

“Better Earth Logistics came about because Peoria, Illinois didn’t have anyone who wanted to haul the organic waste that’s coming out of all the restaurants; the big companies that produce a lot of food waste,” co-owner Luke Rosenbohm said. “Within a year this turns into what looks like black dirt, but it’s actually compost.”

“It’s going back into the soil and all the nutrients are going back in right here in central Illinois,” Yvonne said. 

Better Earth Logistics composts waste from the Par-A-Dice hotel buffet, Catepillar cafeterias and local small businesses like Sugarcane Shack. 

“When we started this, we knew we wanted to do something with our waste,” Sugarcane Shack owner Jessica Mehdi said. “We thought maybe we would start a compost of our own, but the amount of waste is overwhelming.”

So once a week, Better Earth works with Mehdi to pick up waste from Sugarcane Shack. She says the partnership helps her business recycle and compost about 90 percent of what it uses. 

“I think it helps us educate people too,” Mehdi said. “When people come in, it’s a conversation point and we’re able to get them thinking about it as well.”

And the environmentally friendly change doesn’t have to be difficult. 

“What it is is letting them understand exactly how it looks. A lot of people think they have to change something drastically,” Luke explained. “But typically especially just in the kitchen, it’s just adding one or two more steps to their process.”

Better Earth Logistics hopes to grow and add another driver to the business. 

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