Let’s Go Compost founder Lauren Click

Lauren Click has something to teach us all about composting – it’s cheap.

Lauren Click, a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, has always been passionate about reducing waste and keeping the environment clean. In early 2021, she was part of a large cleanup project near her former apartment complex, The Halsten at Chauncey Lane, where she helped remove trash and debris that had accumulated behind the complex. Though she has since moved to McCormick Ranch, her efforts to properly dispose of waste have not ceased.

Click began researching composting and discovered that it can be done cheaply and easily using an old trash can, some newspapers, leaves, mulch, dirt and worms. She purchased a high-dollar composting machine, but soon realized that the same result could be achieved with a cheaper alternative. “After getting the bin and doing it for about six months, I said, ‘why have I been paying for these things when I can do it out of a free bucket that I could find on the side of the road and $5 worms from PetSmart or free from a community garden?” Click said.

Let’s Go Compost is a community-led effort to make compost bins free and accessible.

The composting process works best with two bins, with the second used to collect any seeping water or waste. Click drilled holes in the bottom of one bucket and stuffed it with her worm habitat before disposing of eggshells, stale toast, cardboard, banana peels and other biodegradable wastes in the bins. She found that by using the right mix of “browns and greens,” as composters call it, the compost was completely odorless.

Click’s composting efforts were so successful that she wanted to share her methods with others. She began spreading the word to her sister and the trend caught on in her community. Although there were several misconceptions about composting – the biggest being that it would create a pungent smell – Click said that when done correctly, her composts have been odorless.

Following her success, Click’s neighbors began requesting to try out her composting methods. Because of the high demand, Click began reaching out to businesses to take their excess bins off their hands. She was able to score some excess bins from Crumbl cookies, PIEfection and Safeway grocery store, but still doesn’t have enough bins to accommodate the 50 people she currently has on a waiting list to receive their free composters.

Click is currently searching for more businesses to donate discarded bins to her efforts to promote composting. She said, “I’ve been calling around and trying to get more donors to donate regularly.” She hopes to find more buckets to give out, and also wants to create a community project similar to the Free Library and Phoenix Plant Stand movements in which the community rallies around a cause and the cause almost becomes self-sustaining with the number of people that contribute to it.

Click is also in the process of filing for nonprofit status for her organization, Let’s Go Compost, so that she could give patrons a tax-deductible receipt for their donation of buckets. “My goal is to be able to offer that incentive to major corporations in addition to informing them that by using their waste, we are helping out the environment,” Click said.

For more information on Lauren Click’s composting efforts and to learn more about her organization, visit letsgocompost.org.