Ball State alumnus shares goals for local composting organization ScrapCycle to reduce waste in Muncie, beyond

<p>Green ScrapCycle buckets sit in a pyramid in Muncie, Indiana. The composting program is volunteer-based and people who want to participate can sign up online and receive their own bucket within two weeks. <strong>Bob Mattax, Photo Provided</strong></p>

Green ScrapCycle buckets sit in a pyramid in Muncie, Indiana. The composting program is volunteer-based and people who want to participate can sign up online and receive their own bucket within two weeks. Bob Mattax, Photo Provided

Learn more about ScrapCycle

By the end of 2021, ScrapCycle hopes to have 300 residential members in Muncie and 12 volunteers who regularly help pick up buckets every two weeks.

Visit the ScrapCycle website,  Instagram or Facebook for additional information.

Source: ScrapCycle website

Bob Mattax created the local organization ScrapCycle in June 2020 to tackle waste in the Muncie community through composting. Mattax graduated from Ball State in 2000 with a degree in communications and has called Muncie home ever since. 

ScrapCycle participants can sign up online and they will be provided a green ScrapCycle bucket they can bring into their homes to collect scraps. Then, every two weeks, volunteers will go around Muncie and pick up participants’ buckets to weigh and monitor how much waste has been collected before bringing them to a larger compost pile. The ScrapCycle website provides a list of items that individuals can put into their buckets.  

“I want to do everything I can to help my community, my kids, my planet — and encourage other people to do that as well,” Mattax said. 

Mattax said volunteers have been collecting food scraps, shredded paper products and lawn debris with the hope of expanding the program in Muncie and surrounding areas. 

“Right now, the biggest thing is just to get more people involved,” Mattax said. “I want to have everyone be more waste-conscious. The more we take that on as individuals, the better our chances of not destroying ourselves.”

Individuals who are interested in participating can sign up at no financial cost to them, Mattax said. People can donate to ScrapCycle whether or not they participate themselves. Mattax said it’s important to him to have voluntary payment for the service to maximize awareness and reduce barriers to participation.

“All of our services are voluntary payment — so you can sign up tomorrow, and it will cost you nothing,” he said. 

Founder of ScrapCycle Bob Mattax carries a green bucket of compost marked with the ScrapCycle logo away from a participant's home. ScrapCycle needs a number of volunteers to pick up buckets from people's homes every two weeks. Bob Mattax, Photo Provided

Molly Hayes, 2019 Ball State nutrition and dietetics graduate, met Mattax through the campus church The Revolution, where she was introduced to ScrapCycle. 

“Things like the environment and plants had interested me for a while,” Hayes said. “I found out about ScrapCycle and [what] composting is and how I've heard of other people doing it and the success they were having.”

Hayes said she became a ScrapCycle member in October 2020 and has realized how crucial composting is to sustaining the environment. 

“Doing even the littlest things can help in the biggest ways — keeping things out of our landfills,” Hayes said. 

Hayes said she has a bowl in her kitchen where she collects the excess scraps from chopping up vegetables or fruits. At the end of the day, she deposits the scraps into her bucket she keeps outside. 

2021 Ball State musical theatre graduate Tatum Langley became a participant of ScrapCycle after she accidentally signed up for the organization by clicking a link her friend shared on social media. Despite this, Langley said becoming a participant of ScrapCycle made her realize how much food waste she produces. 

“I was shocked to see how much my compost bucket was filling up and how, week by week, I was taking my regular trash out less and less,” she said. 

Langley said she hopes people will realize how easy it is to compost after getting involved with ScrapCycle.

“ScrapCycle at this moment is also entirely donation-run, so I’m really hoping current and future members are able to donate what they can financially so that ScrapCycle can expand commercially,” Langley said. “The biggest change starts small after all.”

Contact Iris Tello with comments at idtello@bsu.edu or on Twitter @idtello98.

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