Compost Infrastructure Grants Announced

May 20, 2009

Funding Will Reduce Organic Waste Stream, Generate Additional Organic Products

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Grants totaling nearly $400,000 will allow businesses, colleges and farms in six Pennsylvania counties to reduce their organic waste and put what is left to a better use, Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger announced today.

“This is an example of making something out of nothing,” said Hanger. “Every year, we simply throw away material that can be reused. Organic material such as food scraps, grass clippings and yard waste can be especially useful. Composting is a basic form of recycling that turns organic materials into a variety of soil products that can be used by farmers and homeowners.”

Roughly one-third of the municipal waste generated in Pennsylvania is organic material. Hanger said that by composting organic waste instead of burying it in landfills, Pennsylvania can free up additional waste disposal space, save money by cutting down on municipal disposal fees, and generate additional business opportunities by creating various nutrient-rich soil additives. Finished compost adds nutrients to soil and increases moisture retention.

The Composting Infrastructure Development Grants reimburse for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations up to $100,000 for the purchase of machinery or equipment costs associated with increasing the use of organic materials processed at composting facilities in the commonwealth.

There are more than 1,600 municipal recycling programs serving nearly 10 million Pennsylvania residents. The state’s 3,803 recycling and reuse businesses and organizations annually divert more than five million tons of waste from landfill disposal. Their 52,000 jobs have an annual payroll of $2.2 billion and generate more than $20 billion in gross annual sales.

“The average homeowner can help reduce our reusable organic waste stream by creating compost that they can use in their own backyards,” said Hanger. “These grant recipients will be large-scale examples of how composting presents opportunities to turn environmental challenges into beneficial products, while at the same time creating new jobs and stimulating economic growth.”

For more information visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: “Compost.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a list of the recipients of the Composting Infrastructure Development Grants:

Sandra Guzikowski Farm, Bucks County$78,068 to purchase a windrow turner, tractor, compost cover winder and compost covers that will enable the farm to accept 5,000 cubic yards of leaf and yard waste and 500 tons of food waste from local communities. The resulting compost product will be used to grow vegetable crops which will be sold directly to local consumers.

Allegheny College, Crawford County$79,545 to purchase a shredder mill, screening plant, conveyor, skid-steer loader and leaf collection system. This equipment will enable the 77 acre campus to expand and process an additional 1,300 cubic yards of food and yard waste generated by the college and from local communities. In addition, the use of this equipment will improve the quality of the finished compost. The compost product generated will be used on campus property.

Worms.com, Delaware County$16,088 for the purchase of two solar powered rotary composers. This is a small minority-owned vermicomposting business that will partner with Swarthmore College to compost at least 24 cubic yards of campus-generated food waste. The college currently disposes its food waste. Yard waste will be used for the carbon source and mixed with food wastes using the solar powered rotary composters. The project will teach students and provide outreach to local gardeners and residents to compost. The finished compost product will be used for local community gardens.

Terra-Gro, Inc., Lancaster County $100,000 for the purchase of a power screen trammel. The company will partner with Oregon Dairy Farm’s existing on-farm composting facility and double the current capacity to 32,000 cubic yards annually. The additional organic materials will come from local grocery stores, restaurants, schools, local townships and farming operations. The compost product generated will be sold and used for soil and athletic field amendments, gardening and turf products throughout Pennsylvania and neighboring states. This project will create five to 10 permanent jobs.

Sanofi Pasteur, Inc., Monroe County$82,400 to purchase an organic composter, conveyors and vertical mixer to compost 728 cubic yards of food and yard waste. This for-profit company is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of vaccines for the protection of human health and gainfully employs a staff of 2,100. Currently, the company pays to dispose of all its cafeteria food wastes. The equipment will also enable the company to partner with the Pocono Mountain School District and the Monroe County Conservation District and accept an additional 312 cubic yards of leaf and yard waste from the local community. The compost product will be used on the company’s 510-acre property.

Lafayette College, Northampton County$41,082 to purchase two food pulper/water extractors to dewater campus cafeteria food waste, and two Earth Tub systems and monitoring equipment to expand and accept community yard waste sources. An additional 116 cubic yards of food and yard waste will be composted annually. The compost product will used by the local community and on campus grounds.

    CONTACT:  John Repetz
    (717) 787-1323

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Source: newswire

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