Naples Compost turns trash into treasure and reduces food waste

On a steamy Friday afternoon in July, Amanda Rauktys and her husband, Joseph, are up to their knees in garbage in their backyard. 

Flies, mosquitos and other airborne pests hover over the heaps and mounds. Joseph upends one of the totes on the trailer he pulled to the rear of their property, behind his truck, and a pile of scraps tumbles out. Then, he grabs a pitchfork and digs into one of the piles. 

It’s not accurate to call it garbage. Not really. It’s the beginning of something else entirely: an effort to reduce waste through their business, Naples Compost. 

“There is a need for this. People are interested. We want to do this the right way,” Amanda said. 

Naples Compost owner Amanda Rauktys collects compost from a client, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in North Naples.

Naples Compost was started in 2018 by Hannah Rinaldi. The Rauktys duo bought the company in May, and they run six pickup routes a week for both residential and commercial clients, averaging about 10 clients per residential route. 

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The routes often mean crisscrossing through Naples, buckets in the back of the car, picking up full buckets from clients and replacing it with a clean, empty bucket into which folks dump their food waste. They then return to their home in the Golden Gate Estates for the dirty work. 

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