Land Management - Municipal Composting
Composting − nature's original recycling system − is a cost-effective means of handling organic waste and an essential part of any successful solid waste management plan. It can greatly reduce landfill costs and create a valuable, organic product in the process. High-quality compost is an essential ingredient in a municipal turf care program, and a valuable tool for all forms of horticulture, from tree-planting to maintenance of flower and ornamental beds.
Helping nature to make compost is not difficult. Gather the right materials in the right proportions, keep out contaminating matter (sticks, gravel, debris, animal waste), provide oxygen to aid in decomposition, and when it's done, return the compost to the soil. If your town is using the compost as topdressing for turf applications, consider having the compost tested to make certain it is finished.
Municipalities should consult local, state and federal regulations and restrictions before setting up composting operations.
The U. S. Composting Council is a trade and professional organization which promotes compost and provides information and resources for the growing composting industry. Municipal membership is $250.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a section of its web site dealing with composting, including many publications and helpful links.
Book: Composting for Municipalities: Planning and Design Considerations, is published by the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Engineering Service. 136 pages, $20.00. Order online