Northampton’s Pedal People to expand composting services to Easthampton

  • Michael Nord, of Northampton, who works for Pedal People, picks up some compost on Center Street in Easthampton, Wednesday. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Michael Nord, of Northampton, who works for Pedal People, picks up some compost on Center Street in Easthampton, Wednesday. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Michael Nord, of Northampton, who works for Pedal People, picks up some compost on Center Street in Easthampton, Wednesday. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

@HughesMorgan_
Published: 4/30/2017 11:07:00 PM

NORTHAMPTON — The small army of environmentally-conscious bike riders known for cycling recyclables and compost pickups around Northampton are now stretching their legs into Easthampton.

Pedal People, a human-powered hauling and delivering service, is expanding to Easthampton after 15 years in Northampton. This small group of bike riders regularly hauls recycling, trash and compost, as well as other Northampton needs such as general delivery and moving services. They’ll even deliver a letter, package or groceries on the way.

“The core of the mission is using human power to do different jobs,” said Will Berney, 32, a worker-owner of the cooperative. “Providing an alternative to fossil fuel-based modes of work, and providing an example that there are other ways to do things.”

Ruthie Woodring and Alex Jarrett started Pedal People in 2002 after recognizing that local landfills needed some room to breathe. The cooperative diverts waste from landfills by gathering it from its customers in large plastic containers with lids and sending it to Valley Recycling Center in Northampton.

“Composting is a great way to keep things out of the landfills,” Berney explained. “It’s just organic materials that can be recycled into a useful product.”

Fifteen years later, area residents can still catch Woodring, Jarrett, Berney or one of 12 other worker-owners pedaling by with their roughly 2-by-6-foot trailers rolling behind.

The Easthampton service will only offer compost services, for $22 a month or $15 bi-weekly. It will include mainly downtown areas, with reach especially to the north and east. The service area will be approximately bounded by Lovefield, Ferry and East streets to the east, a portion of Route 141, Park and Holyoke streets to the south and Route 10 to Glendale and South streets.

Berney explained that the Pedal People presence in Easthampton may not be as visual as that of Northampton. It may not look like cyclists riding around with 8-foot-high mounds of aromatic trash, but they will be around town, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

A handful of Easthampton residents have already signed up for the service, Berney said, but that number is expected to grow.

“The more people that have access to that kind of service, the more we can keep those organics out of landfills,” Berney said.

For pricing and details about Northampton and Easthampton services, visit their website at www.pedalpeople.coop.

Morgan Hughes can be reached at mahughes@umass.edu.




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