Moving the Needle

MA and RI are losing their capacity to manage their own waste internally.  The last landfill left in MA is scheduled to close in ten years. At the same time our soils are depleted of nutrients from decades of modern agriculture practices. Adopting widespread curbside composting is imperative to solve our looming waste and soil crisis. Communities need to start adapting now, because building infrastructure and new habits takes time. Please reach out to us if you would like to get more involved in becoming part of the solution.

We are a proud member of the Composting Consortium - leading the nation in composting infrastructure, innovation and compostable packaging progress.



Conor Miller, CE0 and Andrew Brousseau, Partner and Chief Composter recently interviewed along with Sharon Kishida, former MA DEP Northeast Regional Municipal Coordinator, on Cape Ann's TOWNGREEN Nature Wins Podcast. The episode, Cape Ann's Waste Story, goes into the state of waste in Massachusetts and how composting helps tackle the current problems we face. 

Why Composting is Critical

A collection of articles related to solving our waste and soil crisis with curbside composting.

Waste Crisis

  1. MassDEP Solid Waste Update June 2023 PAGE 8 is Scary!
  2. With state landfill capacity dwindling, MassRecycle conference explores recycling remedies.
  3. Wasted! The Story of Food Waste, movie

Soil Crisis

  1. What Soil Is and How Industrial Ag depletes it
  2. Only 60 Years of Farming Left - Scientific American

Positive Momentum

  1. Compost Transport: City To Farm - Biocycle
  2. Compost And Mulch Utilization On California Almond Farm - BioCycle
  3. Growing Popularity in Composting - Hingham Anchor
  4. Kiss The Ground
  5. Reimbursing Farmers Who Utilize Compost - Biocycle
  6. Doubling Residential Organics Diversion With Pay As You Throw - Biocycle
  7. Vermonters Weigh In On Food Waste Disposal Ban - Biocycle

Anerobic Digestion

  1. Microplastic Challenges with Depackaging
  2. Pennsylvania Issues Operating Requirements For Food Waste Depackaging - Biocycle
  3. The Misbegotten Promise of Anaerobic Digesters - The Counter
  4. Don't Let Your Food Scraps Become Sewage Sludge - Laura Orlando
  5. Environmental Groups Blast USDA for Extending Climate Funding to Dairy Digesters- Agriculture Dive

Compostable Packaging

  1. Composting Certified Compostable Products - Biocycle
  2. Winners Of The Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize Are All Using Seaweed - Forbes

Carbon Sequestration

  1. Global Warmings Dirty Secret - Manchester Cricket
  2. How Compost Boosts Carbon Capture - Science Alert
  3. Can Dirt Save the Earth - NYT
  4. Composting - Project Drawdown

PFAS

  1. Questions Remain About Using Treated Sewage on Farms - Civil Eats
  2. The Farmers Facing Ruin in Maine’s ‘Forever Chemicals’ Crisis - The Guardian
  3. Unveiling the Invisible: PFAS and Compost - MASS Recycle Episode 43 Interview with Andrew Brousseau

Electric Com"posers" - aka Food Dehydrators - "A Raw potato ain't no french fry"

  1. Electric Kitchen "Composter" Confusion - Biocycle
  2. Connections: What is NOT Compost - Biocylce

Austria - World Compost Leader

  1. Austria: the Decentralized System: towns work with farmers for composting, farms get fertilized: 400 farms turn most of the nations food waste into compost and grow food
  2. Florian Amlinger of Austria speaks about composting

Mandatory Compost Supplementation to Soil

Compost reverses global warming through deep carbon storage, AND reinvigorates out our ability to grow food. A major challenge being in MA, is that the vast amount of food we eat comes from outside New England. So we are a net importer of nutrients, and it is not cost effective to ship compost out of the area. We must expand our outlets of where compost should be used to make sure the whole system works. If compost manufacturers over-produce compost, the price plummets, and the cost of collecting food waste rises to offset that. Cities on the west coast know this and have implemented mandatory uses for adding compost to post construction soil to help cities manage rain water run-off problems due to composts' ability to soak in moisture like a sponge: https://kingcounty.gov/depts/dnrp/solid-waste/programs/green-building/home-builders-owners/soil-standard.aspx

So step one is to divert the organics, and step two is to make sure compost has end markets. I would argue step two should be combined limiting our chemical warfare on the environment  with an effort to decrease chemical fertilizers due to over fertilization causing algae blooms, low oxygen in the water, and depleting fish stocks. And even more important, restricting the use of pesticides and herbicides. 

Illinois has a new law requiring municipalities, DOT, and other state agencies to use of compost:

https://news.wttw.com/2018/08/21/new-law-aims-increase-use-compost-illinois

Concerning PFAS

Black Earth Compost does not manage or process any type of water treatment sludge or paper mill waste. These materials can contain heavy metals and various types of chemicals such as PFAS and will never be accepted at one of our compost sites. It is important to remember that 'composting' is a process that is used by many industries to manage organic waste. What you put into that process as your initial ingredients dictates what type of compost will come out and thus no compost is the same. Our ingredients are food scraps, certified compostable cups, plates, etc, leaves, manure and wood.

Black Earth Compost has put purity of our ingredients as a top value since the beginning in 2011. This is why we don't even put grass in our compost due to concerns of lawn chemicals. Our ingredients are simple, and we personally collect the food scraps in our trucks to quality control them. We closely monitor for the presence of salts, nutrients, different metals, herbicides, food web biology and PFAS. We share our results here which show our compost is safe for use even at Massachusetts strictest standard. We use our own compost to grow healthy food for our own families.

We ask that you join us in asking manufacturers why PFAS are present in consumer products in the first place and what needs to be done to remove them from the marketplace. PFAS is put on products like mascara and makeup, microwave popcorn bags, stain-resistant carpet, non-stick cookware, waterproof outdoor gear/cloths and food wrappers that our children eat off of. Manufacturers of these products need to hear that we do not need the 'benefits' these additives imbue on the endless amount of stuff we consume. We are glad to see the attention the press gives this issue as it brings awareness to the composition of the consumer products we buy everyday.

Listen to head composter Andrew Brousseau discuss PFAS with MASS RECYCLE in the podcast episode Unveiling the Invisible: PFAS and Compost

Lab results are again listed here:
Quality Assurance | Black Earth Compost


How To Avoid PFAS In Your Everyday Life

The Northeast Waste Management Officials Association (NEWMOA), a nonprofit which provides a forum for effectively identifying, developing, and implementing solutions to environmental problems, has released five factsheets on PFAS to help us avoid them in our everyday lives.

What are PFAS?

PFAS in Clothing & Textiles

PFAS in Foodware & Packaging

PFAS in Personal Care Products

PFAS in Outdoor Recreation