WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Jesse Marks spends many of his days in the Nudge Compost truck, coordinating commercial and residential pickups. 

“It’s easy to care and be energized, to do the work when it's something that you feel is actually important, making a difference,” Marks said, on the way to Reverie Coffee Roasters for his weekly stop. 

The business, which is nearly five years old, picks up waste from local businesses, restaurants and homes, to name just a few stops, and composts it. What Marks collects becomes soil amendment. 

“Wichita is maybe a little behind the really progressive curve, and so maybe it was something that in, again, five or 10 years, it might be something, and it's getting to that point,” Marks said. 

Marks said it was his love for plants and food, and an urge to help sustain his community, that led him to start the project after graduate school at Wichita State. Nudge Compost opened in 2018.

“It’s been a long…bit of a long and meandering path, but I've always enjoyed nature, and thought that it was pretty, you know, clear that we need to protect it,” he said. 

Bloom Wichita, a flower shop in Hyde Park, composts with Nudge. Owner Vanessa O’Brien said she’s participated since 2020 when her store opened. 

“We split out all of our green waste from our trash waste,” O’Brien said. “We have a visual every week, and some weeks we will fill up three huge containers for Nudge.”

Marks said composting is often easier than recycling. On Earth Day Saturday, he is set to host his Compost Return where he will give his clients a free sample of the soil amendment.

“Sometimes, it doesn't really make sense to recycle something, and that's just kind of a bummer,” Marks said. 

“Composting, it's fairly low tech. I mean, you add water, and you turn it to add oxygen, and nature kind of does the rest.”

Nudge Compost is always operating and offers commercial and residential pickups, along with curbside and drop off options. You can sign up, just click here

“They give us the dead stuff or the excess material, and then eventually it gets put back onto a farm, grows more plants, and the cycle just continues.” Marks said.