Mission & Values

Bootstrap Compost - A Sustainable and Social Enterprise for People, Planet, and Profit

For the founders of Bootstrap Compost, operating the company as a social enterprise — that is, an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being — has always came as naturally as the compost we make. Maximizing social impact alongside profits has and remains a guiding force at Team Bootstrap. 

Revenue and Expenses

Here at Bootstrap, taking care of our community, employees, and our profitability in a sustainable manner is at the core of our company. After years of practice and implementation, our pricing reflects exactly that. So, what makes Bootstrap more than a food waste hauler?

Hauling food refuse and distributing compost throughout Boston and Providence is no doubt a hard day’s work; given that fact, we strive to care for and nurture our dedicated staff in a variety of ways. We embrace work-life balance and start off our salaried employees with 3-weeks paid vacation and encourage those who can to work from home a few days per week. We provide competitive pay to all our staff (starting at $13/hour for warehouse and $15/hour for drivers) and offer benefits like performance bonuses, health insurance, stipends toward educational enrichment and perks like snacks, meals, and outings.
 
In a recent anonymous survey conducted by consultant and happiness coach Angela Reiner, employees commented that “Bootstrap Compost has given me the best job I’ve ever had,” and “I’m Captain Planet!” Along with “There is food scrap juice running in my blood.” Clearly, our staff is committed to their company and takes pride in their role within our community.

Through our service, we help keep food waste out of landfills, thereby creating a safe and nutrient-rich soil amendment through composting, a practice that also helps keep harmful GHGs like methane out of the atmosphere. Compost is then returned to our subscribers or donated to local school and community gardening projects, growing a base of urban gardeners across the city.

We extend our outreach through education, a core element of our mission. We frequently speak at schools, conferences and companies about sustainable resource management and social entrepreneurship, or you may find us at a farmers’ market collecting scraps, giving workshops, and explaining the merits and benefits of composting. All of this comes from one of our founding values, “to give back to the community what we take from the community,” and it is extended to our robust social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, on which we open our doors for people to see our work through photos and videos and expound on gardening tips, information about soil health, and news and happenings in sustainability.
Many inquire about additional buckets, one-time pickups, vacation skips or what can or can’t go into our bucket (sorry, we can’t compost dog poop!). We strive to go above and beyond for those who provide us a living, and our customer service has been lauded as responsive and professional, with a light-hearted, warm and personal approach. And out of 6,000+ pickups per month, we average only around 10 delivery mistakes. Simply put, we get the job done well.

As a social enterprise, we donate our time, money and energy toward supporting other social enterprises. We give service discounts to schools, nonprofits and startups. We extend price breaks on or offer free event services to community events. Outside of service and compost donations, we have contributed financially to the ACLU, WBUR, and the Hyde Square Task Force, among others. Finally, our partnership with Malden-based nonprofit Triangle, Inc. has been thriving for over two years; through Triangle, we’ve been able to put people with disabilities to work in our warehouse three days a week, giving them an income and a meaningful role at Bootstrap.

We are a for-profit corporation and are committed to distributing our profits responsibly. Part of that is investing in our growth and scaling. New technologies are constantly being developed and implemented, new employees are being brought in. We want to create a climate that is abundant for our company to continue to prosper. None of this is possible without a profit margin.
 
Thus, we take our pricing model very seriously. Your membership in Bootstrap gives our employees meaningful work, a fair wage and benefits; it helps build a more sustainable community through composting and healthy soils; it educates thousands of individuals annually about the importance of wise resource management; it supports top-notch service; it empowers social institutions that are “doing the right thing”; and it allows us to grow, develop and prosper as an organization.

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