Compost Queens San Antonio Transforms Attitudes Through Action

The Alamo City innovators work to reduce landfill waste while supporting local farms and closing the gap in the food cycle.


As we navigate life in a fast-paced world, it's easy to see there's much we take for granted. Among these conveniences enjoyed includes access to a consistent food supply. Across the developed world, consumers can choose from a range of food sources, from fully stocked supermarkets and farms to the ability to click on a mobile device and have food delivered to a home. At times, the simplicity of access leads to purchasing more food than needed.

While 1-in-8 Americans struggle to put food on the table, close to 40% of the food in the U.S. is never eaten, with most wasted foods ending up in landfills. Additionally, households, restaurants, farms, and grocery stores tossing food not deemed standard and confusing food labels are why the U.S. struggles with food waste.

Grassroots Change Created San Antonio's Compost Community

The most meaningful impact often is made by grassroots change through programs embedded in the local community. San Antonio's Compost Queens is leading a grassroots effort to educate the community about the power of composting and the importance of soil health. The family-owned, women-led business offers curbside community composting, and through a variety of programs and services, it engages a new generation of environmentalists.

Compost Queens; San Antonio Composting
Compost Queens Kate Gruy Jaceldo (left) and Betsy Wunderlick Gruy (right)

Compost Queens was founded in 2017 by the mother-daughter duo of Betsy Wunderlick Gruy and Kate Gruy Jaceldo. Through work and engagement, the community learns about the guiding principles of community composting.

The duo innovates by composting through the "Bokashi" method. Bokashi is a Japanese term for "fermented organic matter" and is a form of composting that ferments food scraps to help break down organic matter.

The mission behind Compost Queens is put into focus when understanding the amount of energy and resources required to grow, process, transport, and eventually dispose of wasted food. Climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions impact all stages of the food system, resulting in waste generating methane, a greenhouse gas that is 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Compost Queens Helps Businesses Save Money

While composting plays a significant role in creating nutrient-rich soil, the business benefits are just as substantial. Businesses that compost can divert waste from large, heavy containers and reduce waste pickup frequency, saving companies significant money on costs.

In addition to providing residential services, Compost Queens works with area businesses through commercial and restaurant services to create a unique community ecosystem that prioritizes preventing and diverting food waste.

The work of the Compost Queens team benefits the community on a local scale. Still, the widespread messages of advocacy and awareness can inspire more people to become stewards for a cleaner Earth.


Looking for more information?

Visit or check out @compostqueens on Instagram.