Dirt is moving once again at Ballantyne Corporate Park. But this time, it’s not just to make way for another building.
The Bissell Cos., owner of a range of Ballantyne properties, has adopted a composting program that is turning waste from The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge into fertilizer for the development’s landscape. The idea started with Bissell Land Services Superintendent Ryan Newell, who found a space on The Golf Club at Ballantyne to start a composting program last October.
The idea had been stewing for a while, and it required some research as well as buy-in from The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge’s culinary staff.
“We had to agree on certain materials,” Newell says. That means no proteins (read: meats and cheeses) that may attract frisky fauna and take longer to break down into usable matter. And, frankly, would produce a less-than-pleasant aroma.
Overall, the results have been prodigious. Within a year, the staff has transformed the scraps and yard waste into 20,000 pounds of compost. That’s 10 tons of organic fertilizer. Bissell then uses the compost for its plant beds, across its hotel grounds and herb gardens and at other properties, including the business park.
Newell adds that while Bissell still supplements with fertilizers and potting soil, the compost reduces landscaping costs.
Grills calls the composting program an offshoot of Bissell’s green building investment. Bissell Development has committed to constructing more than 1 million square feet of office space according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards for sustainable structures.
Shannon Binns, executive director of nonprofit Sustain Charlotte, praises the composting project. “I think it’s a great example of what’s possible when a company decides to give something a try that they haven’t done before.”
Binns has spent the past few months pitching presentations on “zero waste” initiatives. Composting is a key method for a company or a community to reduce landscaping costs while also reducing what’s dumped in local landfills, he says.
“I hope other business follow their leadership,” he says. “There might be an opportunity for, say, a restaurant, to partner with a landscaper.”