Gerardo Soto

Gerardo Soto

Gerardo Soto

Speaker | Food Waste Experts

Sleepy Hollow, NY | gsoto@foodwastexperts.com

Gerardo Soto is the Founder and Managing Director of Food Waste Experts (FWE). FWE provides consulting services implementing strategies using cutting-edge sustainable solutions to reduce food scraps, create value from food before becoming food scraps, and maximize value when treating food scraps onsite. Our partners are universities, colleges, schools, hotels, nursing homes, farms, food banks, corporate cafeterias, hospitals, supermarkets, prisons, jails, among other organizations.

After pursuing an MBA, he had a long career in finance until he decided to return to his sustainability interests. He first became involved in spearheading a project to build a sustainable solid waste facility as part of his engineering thesis. Previously, he was a co-founder of Discovery Capital Investment, LLC, a boutique financial advisory, research, and asset management firm founded in 2005.

Previously, he co-developed an international equity research platform to cover Latin America. He co-managed a platform of 40 equity research analysts in five countries. Previously, Gerardo worked for more than eight years for Citi-Banamex in the Corporate Banking division. Gerardo earned an MBA from Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and a BS in engineering from UP.

Session Code: 3E

Track: Community Composting

Session Name: Focusing on Data

Session Time: Tuesday, January 25, 4:15 PM to 5:45 PM

Presentation Title: A Leading Community Composting Program in NYC during COVID

Presentation Description: Domino Park (DP) is a 6-acre park and the Brooklyn waterfront redevelopment by Two Trees Management. The Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn has historically offered very little public access to the waterfront and is underserved by park space. Two Trees prioritized public access of the waterfront through a park that would give back to the community, including a composting program, which provides compost for local community gardens and residents.

In 2019, Two Trees started collecting food scraps from local restaurants as part of a sustainable initiative. Horticultural waste from the park is combined with food scraps, keeping things local.

After COVID closed the restaurants and NYC’s organic waste programs, DP’s response to the pandemic was to set up a Food Scrap Drop-Off program. It would help the community and ensure food scrap was a resource instead of being landfilled. Approx 80-120 participants come to each drop-off day.
This closed-loop, community-redistribution model means that Williamsburg’s residents can divert food scraps to landfills and use the compost onsite. In addition, the community learns about composting, improving local soils, job creation, healthier neighborhoods, food security, resource management, energy savings, carbon reduction, greenhouse gases, etc.

The educational component is significant. The Park team explains the biological process and how technology can speed up the process. In addition, many community members bring along their children, who get to feed their food scraps into the in-vessel and see the finished compost coming out.
This project is a truly circular and sustainable nature community composting project. The produced compost goes back to the park lawns, green areas and for other public spaces. Most importantly, it is given back to the community for personal use, closing the recycling loop onsite. DP offers workshops and tours and plan to start a volunteer program to allow further community engagement.