Community compost station now available at 2nd Street Market in Dayton

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

Waste-Free Dayton has teamed up with 2nd Street Market to offer a free, community compost station along the back of the market near Webster Street.

About a year ago, Waste-Free Dayton sent out a survey asking people where they would want a compost station in Dayton and 2nd Street Market was a top choice, said Natalie Warrick, founder and co-executive director of Waste-Free Dayton, a nonprofit organization committed to creating a healthier and more sustainable future.

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

“Opening up a compost station at 2nd Street Market has been kind of a dream of ours, after seeing similar endeavors done in other cities,” said Warrick. “With hundreds of people coming through 2nd Street Market every weekend, we believe that the compost station could become a popular addition to the great things they are already doing.”

This will be Waste-Free Dayton’s second community compost station. In February, the organization opened a compost station at Pink Moon Goods, located at 2027 E. Fifth St. in Dayton. Due to demand, the group is adding a third compost bin at that location.

Waste-Free Dayton’s compost stations are serviced by GoZERO, which accepts a wide range of organic waste such as fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta, baked goods, beans, coffee grounds, eggs, eggshells, dairy, cooked meat, raw meat, bones, seafood and shellfish, other plant and animal-based materials, soiled non-coated paper/fiber products like napkins and pizza boxes, wood and BPI-certified compostable products.

“GoZERO is awesome because they can take things that a backyard compost wouldn’t be able to break down naturally,” Warrick said.

She recently learned from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that almost half of what is put into landfills could have been composted. Through the compost station, she hopes the community can work together to “divert organic waste from landfills, reduce emissions and promote the production of nutrient-dense compost that can be used to enrich soil and contribute to a healthier environment.”

Items that can not be composted include rocks, stone, glass, metal, steel, tin, aluminum, electronics, coated paper/fiber products, styrofoam, dog poop, produce stickers, personal health care products ,pharmaceuticals, items that are not “BPI-certified compostable” and non-compostable packaging.

Market Manager Lynda Suda said she hopes this is the first step in making the market more sustainable. In the past, the market has tried composting in various scenarios, but it never worked out due to logistics. This compost station not only breaks down financial barriers, but it is located conveniently downtown for those who can’t compost at home and is open 24/7.

“2nd Street Market is proud to be one of the community compost locations for the GoZERO public composting location in partnership with Waste-Free Dayton,” Suda said. “This opportunity aligns perfectly with Five Rivers MetroParks’ commitment to supporting sustainable living and conservation mission to protect the region’s national heritage.”

Suda hopes the next step will be an opportunity for the vendors, especially the prepared food vendors, to start composting.

Waste-Free Dayton started in 2020 when Warrick created a Facebook group to share tips and tricks to living a sustainable life and learning from others. She said she had been challenging herself in her own sustainable journey after she bought a juicer to make homemade lemonade and composted the leftovers.

For more information about Waste-Free Dayton and the community compost station, visit or the organization’s Facebook or Instagram pages. Those planning to use the station are encouraged to register on Waste-Free Dayton’s website.

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