Composting Supports Jobs and Healthy Watersheds, Say New ILSR Reports

Two new reports from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Composting Makes $en$e Project document the importance of expanded composting and compost use to enhance soils, protect watersheds, reduce waste, and create green jobs and a new made-in-America industrial sector.

For press release, click here.

With compostable material making up almost one-half of municipal solid waste, there is an enormous opportunity to achieve higher recycling levels with comprehensive composting.  Increasing composting and compost use are also drivers of local economic growth and vital for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay and other watersheds.  When added to soil, compost has the unique ability to filter pollutants and absorb water, reducing flash runoff that causes erosion and pollution downstream. It’s a win-win for local economies and the environment.

Pay Dirt: Composting in Maryland to Reduce Waste, Create Jobs, & Protect the Bay

This 47-page report summarizes the current composting infrastructure in the state of Maryland, compares the number of jobs sustained through composting versus disposal facilities, outlines the benefits of expanding composting and compost use, underscores the importance of a diverse composting infrastructure, and suggests policies to overcome obstacles to expansion. One key finding is that 1,400 new full-time jobs could potentially be supported by converting the 1 million tons of yard trim and food scraps now disposed in Maryland into compost and using that compost locally in green infrastructure and low-impact development.

For full report, click here.
For Executive Summary, click here.
For Key Findings, click here.
For List of Benefits of Composting & Compost Use, click here.
For Job Potential Summary Tables, click here.

Building Healthy Soils with Compost to Protect Watersheds

This 12-page report highlights the importance of organic matter to healthy soils, and links healthy soils in turn to a healthier watershed.  It makes the case that amending soil with compost is the best way to increase the level of organic matter.  This report identifies watershed problems, the benefits of compost-amended soils, model initiatives and policies, frequently asked questions, and resources for more information.

For full report, click here.

Pay Dirt and Building Healthy Soils with Compost to Protect Watersheds were produced by ILSR’s Composting Makes $en$e Project under funding support from the Town Creek Foundation and from the University of the District of Columbia’s Water Resources Research Institute.

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Brenda Platt

Brenda Platt directs ILSR's Composting for Community project.