Progress with municipal composting
This is actually very good news:
[I]ncreasingly, local governments, entrepreneurs and community activists are experimenting with composting.
Last month, District [of Columbia] Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced that the city’s Office of Planning was awarded $600,000 in grants to build three to four compost sites for urban farms or community gardens in the city to test composting methods.
Howard County has collected food waste from 1,000 households since September 2011 as part of a pilot program; officials are launching a composting site this spring at the county’s Alpha Ridge landfill in Marriottsville so that scraps won’t have to be hauled to Delaware. And a small composting operation has opened up in Baltimore in an industrial warehouse.
Freestate Farms, an agricultural consulting company, is working to launch a compost facility in Northern Virginia.
“It’s been under the radar screen until now, and seen as a boutique, West Coast thing,” said Jared Blumenthal, who oversees California as well as two other Western states and the Pacific for the Environmental Protection Agency. “But now everyone from Massachusetts to Minnesota has programs starting up, and pretty soon there will be a critical mass.”
Environmentally minded city leaders have adopted “zero-waste” pledges, noting that traditional trash disposal not only wastes material that can enrich soil but accelerates climate change. Organic matter decomposing in landfills accounts for 16.2 percent of the nation’s emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts are all phasing in bans on putting commercial food waste in landfills.
Not, alas, Maine!