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Composting at School Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Jan. 13, 2015.

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Presentation on theme: "Composting at School Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Jan. 13, 2015."— Presentation transcript:

1 Composting at School Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Jan. 13, 2015

2 Why Compost? Reduce waste requiring disposal Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon in the soil (as humus) Recycle nutrients and organic matter for plants – great for gardens! Saves money in avoided disposal costs and reduced purchases of soil amendment Great educational opportunity

3 How Much Compostable Material is in the Massachusetts Waste Stream? About 25%

4 Food waste /other organics ~24% of disposal > 1 million tons per year (food, compostable paper, yard waste) Goal to divert add’l 350,000 tons/year of organics from disposal by 2020 Funding for capacity development (esp. organics-to-energy projects)

5 Food waste and vegetative material Commercial/institutional generators that dispose of 1 ton food waste or more per week Schools with fewer than 4,000 students are not likely to dispose 1 ton per week Ban effective October 1, 2014 Assistance available at

6 Applicable Regulations 310 CMR 16 - Site Assignment Regulations for Solid Waste Facilities Schools that compost on-site (of anything other than garden/yard waste) are exempt from permitting under the solid waste regulations (310 CMR 16.03(2)(c)2), but must: Notify their local Board of Health and regional office of MassDEP 30 days in advance of starting the program, as a “Small Composting Operation not at a Residence.” The notification form you may use is on the MassDEP website at rovals/notification-exempt-recycling-and-organics- management.html. rovals/notification-exempt-recycling-and-organics- management.html

7 What can be composted? Anything that was once alive, including: Food waste; Paper and paper products (paper plates, napkins, cardboard, coffee filters, etc.); Yard waste – leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds, prunings, woodchips, sawdust; Manure Seaweed and the list goes on but exactly which organic materials are composted depends on the composting system used.

8 How many ways are there to compost? Many, including: On-site in bins, containers, buckets, worm bins, and piles Municipal and on-farm in windrows, piles or drums Commercial systems in enclosed containment vessels Aerobically, which produces CO2 and humus Anaerobically, which produces CH4 (methane) and happens inside our stomachs

9 Food Scraps Greater potential for odors than leaves and yard waste Fruit, vegetables – least odorous Meat, dairy – more odorous and pathogenic

10 Green Team Resources Website – FREE to Green Team Members: Lesson plans and activities Compost bins Worms Recycling equipment Lending Library Food Waste Reduction Guidance at facts/food-waste-reduction/

11 More Resources Web Sites composting-and-organics.html eepNav_GID=1645www.mastercomposter.com Soil and Compost Testing Laboratory University of Massachusetts Amherst, MA ; fax

12 Books Minnich, J. and Marjorie Hunt Rodale Guide to Composting, Rodale Press, Emmaus, PA Appelhof, Mary Worms Eat My Garbage, 2nd Ed. Flower Press, Kalamazoo, MI. Journals Biocycle, pub. JG Press, Emmaus, PA. Organic Gardening, pub. Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA.

13 Contact Information Ann McGovern Mass. Dept of Environmental Protection One Winter St. Boston, MA Sumner Martinson MassDEP regional offices:


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