In 2014, Joseph McMillin and Gary Nihart; both from the Upstate and educated at Wofford College and Clemson University, respectively met. McMillin had overseen a waste collection service in college while Nihart had previously been involved in composting. Their combination of skills formed the basis of what was to become Spartanburg's Atlas Organics in 2015.
They saw a need for organic collection and a diversion of food waste as more organic farms popped up across the Upstate that were looking for organic material for their farming soil. Local municipalities provide composting in some parts of the U.S., but that isn't the case in South Carolina. By 2016, they had partnered with Greenville County and had opened the Atlas Organics facility at Twin Chimneys.
The public-private model is how Atlas Organics has grown from one to three facilities in three states, where the company brings its collected organic waste to make compost. Since opening the first facility in Greenville, Atlas Organics has opened a facility in Durham, North Carolina, in 2018 and one in Indian River County, Florida, in January 2020.