Citywide Commercial Composting: Then and Now

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Recycling and compost bins beckon residents to divert waste at the Port of San Francisco. Photo: Flickr/citymaus

Recycling and compost bins beckon residents to divert waste at the Port of San Francisco. Photo: Flickr/citymaus

Access to citywide commercial composting is still largely limited in the United States, but we’ve come a long way in recent years. Composting now recovers more than 20 million tons of waste annually, according to the most recent EPA data available.

In a recent report submitted to the EPA, the nonprofit research organization Econservation Institute identified more than 180 commercial and residential food scraps collection programs across the nation, in communities with populations less than 200 on up to ones with more than 600,000.

Composting recovers more than 20 million tons of waste annually, according to the EPA.

Despite these encouraging numbers, recovered organics still amount to less than a third of the material that could be composted – meaning we still have a lot of work to do.

So, how has commercial composting evolved? Where is it headed, and what can greenies to do help? Check out this run-down of composting in the U.S. for the answers.

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Mary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.
Mary Mazzoni