Category Archives: Composting

Composting 101

Read the full post from the National Park Service Commercial Services.

As more businesses seek opportunities to lower their carbon footprints, it is often the food and beverage departments that lead the charge. At parks around the country, concessioners are switching to biodegradable and compostable service-ware and utensils, composting their food waste, and promoting more recycling. Food and beverage operations are generally the number one contributor to waste in parks, which means there is ample opportunity for concessioners to make strides in this area.

Organic materials are among the highest volume of waste collected at park events.i Compost is organic material that aids in growing plants. Food waste and yard trimmings are common inputs for creating compost — both of which are found frequently in parks and at concession locations. There are many benefits to composting. Concessioners can compost food scraps or vegetation waste to reduce their output to landfills. Other benefits of composting include:

  • Reduction or elimination of the need for chemical fertilizers;
  • Cost-effective means of remediating soil;
  • Avoidance of methane formation in landfills;
  • Marketable commodity. Concessioners can supply their compost to those who need it (gardens, local farmers, etc.).

Composting for Businesses and Organizations

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

While the recycling of paper, plastic and glass is common across the country, composting remains the final frontier of recycling, especially in dense East Coast cities. But recent citywide composting efforts launched in Boston and New York are showing that it can be done, even in the most challenging urban environments with tight space constraints. Since 30% of waste generated in the US is made up of organic and food waste, many organizations are starting to realize that composting might be one of the few ways left to improve corporate sustainability goals or to achieve zero-waste ambitions.

But how do you know if you are ready to conquer the final frontier of recycling?  Here is a quick guide to help you decide:

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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Composting, Green business


F-SCRAP grant will allow Benedictine to divert food scraps from landfills

Read the full story from Benedictine University.

Benedictine University has received a $46,000 Food Scrap Composting Revitalization and Advancement Program (F-SCRAP) grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to allow for the diversion of food scraps generated in the Lisle campus cafeteria and other buildings.


KU to launch Rock Chalk Recycle this Fall

Read the full story from the University of Kansas.

Kansas Athletics, in partnership with KU Recycling, is helping to launch the Rock Chalk Recycle waste-diversion program this fall at all KU home athletics events.  The waste diversion effort will include recycling and composting inside and outside all sports complexes, including Memorial Stadium and Allen Fieldhouse.


Boston Pilots Composting Program

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Boston is piloting its first public composting program, inviting residents to drop off compostable food scraps for free at three city farmers’ markets.

The program was inspired by feedback during community presentations around the city’s urban agricultural zoning amendment Article 89, and contributes to the city’s “Greenovate Boston” initiative, which seeks to educate the public on climate actions like recycling and waste management.


Bloomberg Plan Aims to Require Food Composting

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has built a name for pushing ambitious causes in New York, is rolling out a plan to begin requiring residents to collect their food scraps.

Report: Composting Could Create Two Times as Many Jobs as Landfilling

Read the full story at Environmental Leader.

Composting is a major job creator, according to a new report released by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC, in conjunction with International Compost Awareness Week. The report, based on a survey of Maryland composters, claims that 1,400 new full-time jobs could be supported for every million tons of yard trimmings and food scraps converted into compost that is used locally.

In Maryland, compostable items such as food scraps, grass clippings, wood chips and the like equal to about 780,000 tons each year, according to Composting those items, per the Pay Dirt: Composting in Maryland to Reduce Waste, Create Jobs, & Protect the Bay [pdf] report, would create twice as many jobs as sending waste to landfill, and four times the number of jobs as burning garbage.

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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Composting, Green jobs, Publications


Food Scrap Pilot Program in Madison County

Via the Illinois Recycling Association’s Material Matters Newsletter.

Instead of throwing away their food scraps from breakfast and lunch, East Alton District #13 students are participating in a Food Scrap Pilot Program.  The food scraps are collected and composted to become food for plants. This Food Scrap Pilot Program is sponsored by the Madison County Green Schools Program and takes place in the East Alton Middle School, Eastwood Elementary School and Washington Early Childhood Center, all in East Alton, IL.

All three East Alton schools currently use single stream recycling.  For the pilot program, the students empty their food waste into a compostable bag that is the lining of a 65-gallon rolling tote.  The full totes are taken outside the buildings and picked up three times a week by Always Green Recycling (AGR).  AGR transports the totes to St. Louis Compost, Belleville, IL where the scraps become plant food (compost) in 180 days.

“We are very honored and excited to be selected for Madison County Food Scrap Pilot Program,” stated East Alton District #13 Superintendent, Mr. Virgil Moore.  “With the addition of food composting to our already established single-stream recycling program, the East Alton School District will come very close to achieving zero waste.  These programs allow our District to realize a significant reduction in operating costs while, at the same time, teaching our students to be responsible citizens.”

The program kicked-off on America Recycles Day.  After only one and one-half months into the program, over 6.48 tons of food waste has been diverted from the landfill.  The program is a partnership between the Madison County Green Schools Program, Madison County Health Department, Always Green Recycling and St. Louis Composting.


Compost Moves Up in NYC

Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal.

Half-eaten salads tossed out by Midtown office workers these days can end up being carted to an upstate compost farm and then returned to Midtown buildings for use as fertilizer on green rooftops.

With more green roofs sprouting up across New York’s skyline, the Durst Organization says it will spend between $750,000 and $1 million to install more than an acre of green space atop its Midtown Manhattan buildings.

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Posted by on January 24, 2013 in Composting, Green roofs


Roundup of higher education sustainability in the Great Lakes Region

ASG’s Sustainability Committee offers free option to go green for off-campus students
Associated Student Government’s Sustainability Committee is offering free compact fluorescent light bulbs and water-efficient showerheads to all students living off campus.The committee launched a Facebook event this week advertising the initiative, which aims to unite Northwestern and Evanston in a push for greener living, said Mark Silberg, ASG’s associate vice president for Sustainability. He said 300 students have signed up to receive the packages so far and the first ones will be distributed this weekend in the ASG office.

Get Plugged in at Prairie State College
The Sustainability Center at Prairie State College (PSC) is excited to offer free charging to community members at the college’s newly installed Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations. The charging stations are part of the college’s strategic sustainability plan and are just one of the many initiatives PSC is implementing to green the campus and serve as a community demonstration site.

Aquinas College Zero Waste Initiative
As a part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, Aquinas College committed to becoming a zero waste to landfill campus by 2020.  The Center for Sustainability and Students Striving for Sustainability (S3) are partnering to further Aquinas’ commitment to sustainability by moving forward the goal to achieve campus-wide zero municipal solid waste by 2014.  A Zero Waste Team is in place to assist in educational programs concerning Aquinas’ waste streams.  With collaboration of faculty, staff, and students, Aquinas will incrementally reduce our waste by 25% each semester for the next two years, by expanding campus composting and recycling efforts.

Volunteers sort compost for windrows at SAP
Grand Valley State University has begun separating its compostable waste to create windrows at the Sustainable Agriculture Project farm just outside Allendale campus and mulch for on-campus landscaping.

Columbia College Chicago Expands Compost Program
Columbia College Chicago was recently awarded a grant by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to implement a more comprehensive composting program across campus. This $5,000 grant will allow the college to reach more of the campus with the goal to divert 13 tons of food scrap waste from landfills in 2012-2013, almost double the 2011-2012 school year’s achievement of seven tons.

U Dayton Creates Exhibit to Teach Students About Water Resources
A new mobile learning studio developed by University of Dayton students puts the region’s five rivers on 18 wheels. The RiverMobile is a traveling exhibit converted from a semi-trailer that highlights the history, benefits and preservation of the Great Miami River watershed. It is the creation of students in the University’s Rivers Institute with generous support from local donors. The RiverMobile’s mission is threefold: to develop pride for the region, to provide knowledge about Dayton’s river system and water resources and to develop personal responsibility for the protection of local water resources and the environment.


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