May 23, 2024
Annapolis, US 75 F

Composting at Truxtun Park to Continue in Annapolis

The City of Annapolis will continue the popular food scrap drop-off composting program that was first instituted as a six-month trial that began last October. The drop location will remain near the skate park at Truxtun Park (300 Truxtun Park Road). Composting food scraps create high-nutrient soil for gardening and keep food scraps out of the trash and landfill.

According to Annapolis Deputy City Manager for Resilience and Sustainability Jacqueline Guild, “food is the largest component of what we collect curbside as trash in Annapolis.”

Between October 2021 and March 2022, the City of Annapolis undertook a pilot composting program to see if residents would participate – and they did.  The pilot included two simultaneous programs: the drop site at Truxtun and a curbside collection program in the community of Hunt Meadow. Food scraps collected from both programs were then transported to composting facilities.

The drop-off location was run by non-profit Annpolis Green with a grant from Keep America Beautiful. Veteran’s Compost picked up over 15,000 pounds of food scraps just from this one location.  The popularity of the program convinced Mayor Gavin Buckley to continue the program indefinitely.

The City’s curbside pickup program was implemented by Annapolis Compost. Of 300 households in Hunt Meadow, 80 were regular participants, diverting 20,187 pounds of food waste. In all, nearly 50 percent of participants decided to continue curbside composting as paying customers of Annapolis Compost. Food scraps from Hunt Meadow were composted and used as soil supplement by Wild Kid Acres, LLC in Edgewater – a non-profit that supports local farms with education around sustainable, regenerative farming techniques and provides hands-on experiences for children and adults.

Combined, almost 18 tons of food waste were collected in the six-month pilot period. The pilot was the first step in determining whether curbside food waste collection will become part of the City’s regular solid waste collection service, alongside recycling and yard waste collections.  A survey to measure community interest is planned.

“These projects help green up our City,” said Department of Public Works Director Michael Johnson. “Just like we did with recycling programs a few decades ago, we start with a project that helps people understand and make new habits. We hope this program shows people the convenience and benefit of composting.”

“When organic waste ends up in a landfill it produces methane, a leading cause of global warming. Composting returns those food scraps to the earth and creates nutrient-rich soil,” said Maggie Hughes, Executive Director of Annapolis Green. “The enthusiastic participation in the drop-off location shows real support for initiatives that mitigate against climate change.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reported that food waste accounts for more than 21 percent of the waste sent to landfills in the United States, and more than 900,000 tons of food waste is generated every year in Maryland. Very little of it is composted.

Additional benefits of composted material are that it restores soil health with nutrients. Healthy soil retains moisture, reducing erosion and stormwater runoff and eliminating the need for chemical fertilizers that pollute waterways and poison wildlife.

Collect food scraps while preparing meals, scraping plates, and cleaning spoiled food out of the refrigerator. Include paper towels, napkins, paper coffee filters, and coffee grounds. See below for the list of compostable items. It all adds up!

Accepted compost material (Please place food waste in compostable bags, paper bags, or loose in the container for collection):

  • Food waste and kitchen scraps
  • Bones and shellfish
  • Meat
  • Dairy products and egg shells
  • Coffee grounds, loose and bagged tea
  • Napkins and paper towels and pizza boxes
  • Compostable plates, cups, and cutlery

Items NOT accepted as compost material:

  • Plastic of any kind, including plastic bags
  • Foil
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Yard waste
  • Pet waste, including kitty litter
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