Green Team Explores New Composting Program

What is compost? 

Compost is simply decayed organic matter, and it’s great for rich, garden soil. Most of the items we throw away can be used for backyard compost, including fruit and vegetable scraps, yard waste, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, newspaper, cardboard, and even dryer lint. The brand-new Prince George’s County Composting Facility can also take meat and bones, dairy products, compostable dinnerware, cardboard ice-cream containers, soiled pizza boxes, and much more.

Can composting save money? 

Yes! Composting is MUCH more economical than throwing everything into a landfill. Organic matter is heavy and thus expensive to throw away. About 853,000 pounds of compostable waste is thrown away every year in Mount Rainier. That costs our city over $25,000 per year.

Does composting help the environment? 

Yes! Composting keeps organic matter out of landfills, where it would otherwise break down into greenhouse gases. Compost also enriches our soils naturally, so harsh chemical fertilizer applications can be avoided. Composting keeps our air cleaner and healthier to breathe, because it captures and eliminate 99.6% of volatile organic compounds from the atmosphere. And compost acts as a “carbon sink” by sequestering carbon in the dirt, thus further reducing greenhouse gases.

How can I compost?

For now, your main option is to build or purchase and maintain your own compost bin in your yard. However, the Green Team is working on a program that would allow residents to sign up for FREE curbside compost pick-up. If you are interested in participating in this program, or would like more information about it, please fill out an interest survey here: http://bit.ly/compostsurveymtr