Liam Donnelly on How (and Why) to Try Composting

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I recently became the proud owner of a VERY cute little Bamboozle compost bin (which you can find on Goldune, the e-commerce site of previous podcast guest Azora Zoe). The only problem: no idea how to use it in a city.

Luckily, Liam Donnelly, CEO and founder of WasteNot Compost, came on to give me the breakdown on composting (pun slightly intended). This will blow your mind: Liam has been running his own composting business since he was 15 years old, when he started transporting the compost from a local coffee shop to his parents’ backyard in Lincoln Square. Since then, he’s built WasteNot compost into a zero-emissions business serving most of Chicagoland with an all-electric fleet. (See below for a picture of teenage Liam and the trailer he pulled on his bike to transport the compost. What a hero.)

In this episode, you’ll hear Liam share his delightful and fascinating origin story. We also cover composting tips for beginners, what you can and cannot compost, and the most common misconceptions about composting that Liam runs into.

Listen to the episode on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you find podcasts. And if you want to join WasteNot, they’re giving new residential sign-ups a $22 credit. Use code EARTHMONTH22 by 4/30/22 to redeem. (And learn more about their services here)

About Liam Donnelly:

While working at a cafe on the north side of Chicago, Liam began WasteNot at the age of 15. Realizing there was a better use for compostables — and without a license — Liam biked around Chicago servicing members with a trailer. Devoted to operating a sustainable company sustainably, he worked to transform WasteNot’s humble beginnings into the largest all-electric fleet in Illinois. An alum of Loyola University Chicago’s School of Environmental Sustainability (SES), Liam loves all things sustainable and has over ten years’ experience in the waste industry.

Resources for this episode:


About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.