Prince George’s County, Maryland recently introduced a new food waste composting pilot project at their Western Branch yard waste composing facility in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The county selected Sustainable Generation LLC, the GORE® Cover authorized sales and service provider for North America, to assist them with the largest food waste composting project in the state at 4,500 tons per year. Maryland Environmental Services (MES) is the operator for the Western Branch Composing Facility. The facility has historically accepted yard waste and is now testing the addition of food waste in a one-year pilot involving six batch tests. Each batch will test different ratio mixes of food waste and yard waste with the maximum amount of food waste at 50% by weight. The project is using a three heap SG Mini™ System utilizing GORE® Covers. The system was selected because it uses less space, has low energy consumption, provides better processing and leachate management and reduces the current curing cycle from 8 months to 8 weeks. Prince George’s County is the first county in Maryland to accept residential, commercial and institutional food waste. They have forged several partnerships to achieve their goal including the receipt of institutional food waste from the University of Maryland, residential food scraps from The Town of University Park and commercial food scraps from Whole Foods Market. Director of Prince George’s County’s Department of Environmental Resources Adam Ortiz said, “Approximately 25% of what we throw away is food waste. By composting it into a more nutrient rich product we can bag and sell at nurseries, we can direct resources back to the county and improve the environment at the same time.” According to Sustainable Generation CEO Scott Woods, “Early test results are promising. It is gratifying for Sustainable Generation to transfer our food waste composting knowledge to the county and MES and to achieve the positive results we are all expecting from this pilot project.”
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