Laura founded CGC in 2014 after a few years working in the commercial waste sector including working with a Norwegian-based technology company piloting in-vessel organics processing in NYC. In 2017, Laura Co-Founded Foodprint Group which was focused on working with chain businesses in and outside of NYC to bring standardization and industry best practices to their waste management programs. In 2021, Laura returned to CGC to focus on building a waste management online platform. Laura is a TRUE Certified Waste Advisor.
Meredith Danberg-Ficarelli is the Executive Director of Common Ground Compost LLC. She sits on the US Composting Council board of directors and the steering committee of the Institute for Local Self Reliance’s Community Composting Coalition. She was recognized by the New York State Association for Reuse, Reduction, and Recycling with the 2019 Recycling Leadership Award. Meredith is a TRUE Certified Waste Advisor.
Zero Waste Consultant
It has been said that waste is a design flaw. Rachana works with clients who strive to eliminate this inefficiency as much as she does, to reach mutually shared sustainability goals. Prior to CGC, she worked with NYC Zero Waste Schools, innovative recycling/composting companies in the U.S. and abroad, and earned her M.S./MBA in Environmental Behavior Change. Rachana is mom to 2 bold daughters, she’s a proud Queens, NYC resident, and she practices Capoeira and Afro-dance in her free time.
Data and Systems Analyst
William Klimpert is the Data and Systems Analyst at Common Ground Compost. As an avid nature enthusiast with a background in plant biophysics, he seeks to use data and technology to increase the accessibility of sustainability initiatives. Since 2019, William has been working with CGC to develop tools and reports that improve workflows and bring audit, composting, and diversion statistics to life. William is a TRUE Certified Waste Advisor.
Compost Manager and Bookkeeper
Jonas Schaller was imported to the USA from Germany in 2014 to help solve the NYC compost crisis! When not joking around, he maintains the Reclaimed Organics Microhauling trike fleet, collects compost, manages on-site food scrap processing, audits waste and helps keep the company’s books. It’s true that he is a TRUE Certified Waste Advisor whose favored mode of transport is the bicycle. Jonas can frequently be found escaping the city on his tin donkey (that’s a German term for bicycle!).
Waste in the Community Director
Jesi Taylor Cruz is a Philosophy graduate student, researcher, freelance writer, archivist, and Zero Waste Consultant whose work lies at the intersection of Genocide Studies, Political Theory, Disability Studies, Black Feminist Ecology, and Discard Studies. Her primary focus is the impact of waste-based structural violence on marginalized and criminalized communities. Jesi is a TRUE Certified Waste Advisor.
Zero Waste Educator
Jo Mispel is a Zero Waste Educator at CGC. Passionate about humanity's need to re-engage with decomposition and life cycles, she gladly left a long stint in corporate publishing to realign. She is thrilled to be part of the organic (yep) CGC family of fellow trash nerds and earth stewards. She loves being part of a team tirelessly striving to recover materials from landfills, and enjoys participating in the mission to help others, big and small, understand what waste really means, reach their waste diversion goals and become part of a more circular economy. Jo is a TRUE Certified Waste Advisor.
Microhauler and Event Manager
Michael McAllister is a compost hauler and event manager at Common Ground Compost. His interest in sustainability began as an organic farmer in the Hudson Valley, and eventually led him to the grape growing regions of New York. Michael is currently an ambassador for the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, and pursuing his sommelier certification. His focus is the continued spotlight and education of sustainable food and farming practices here locally.
Candice joined the CGC team in March of 2021 to do social media and quickly became the team They Friday - or They of all Trades, if you prefer! From web development to audio/video production to audit staffing and off-site event management, Candice doesn’t mind taking on a challenge! Candice is a certified Reiki Master and has been reading Tarot for 20+ years. You’ll find them hanging out with their cats, Benny and Jude. Candice is a TRUE Certified Waste Advisor.
Reclaimed Organics Operations Manager
Gwen Ossenfort is an Ops Manager for Reclaimed Organics, focusing on customer happiness, route management and zero waste consulting support. Bringing a deeply rooted understanding of composting, years of gleeful city cycling, and a farmer’s approach to problem solving, Gwen first started as a hauler on the original bike and trailer in 2017. With a foundation in nonprofit management and program development, she moved into the RO ops job in 2018. Gwen is a TRUE Certified Zero Waste Advisor.