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The Hustle

Name: Kali Rabaut (Suncoast Compost)

Posted By Megan Holmes

Suncoast Compost is changing the way we look at food waste. The small start-up is diverting hundreds of pounds of compostable material from Tampa Bay landfills, and they're only just beginning. Inspired by the birth of her daughter, Kali Rabaut wanted to make an impact. She's targeting individuals and businesses small and large to teach them about trash, composting, recycling and much more. Suncoast Compost recently expanded their operations to St. Petersburg, with a compost site at local marketing agency, Big Sea. The team provides a compost bin and instructions, picks up compost once a week, and even gives back finished compost twice a year.

Years in Tampa Bay


Hustle (job)


What do you do?  

I empower people to put their food waste to use, promoting sustainable practices and reconnecting the food cycle one composter at a time.

Why do you do it?

We throw away 1.3 million lbs of food away each day in the Tampa Bay area. Food isn’t waste, and we have to change that.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

The birth of my daughter. How can I make the world a little better for her? My husband and I had been inviting friends, colleagues and the community to tour our little farm. We found that people were really attracted to the composting, so we thought it was something we could share with the community.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

We like to help businesses beyond composting. There’s lots more fun trash talk to be had- recycling, purchasing, and even waste audits.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Our region isn’t set up for community composting. There isn’t a clear path, but we’re finding pleasure in being the tip of the spear.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Don’t wait for things to be perfect. Put it out there, learn, adjust, repeat.

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