Welcome to our new resource center for materials to assist in advocating for compost-friendly policies.
The Institute for Local Self Reliance maintains an EXCELLENT collection of local and state rules that support the development of a robust composting infrastructure. CLICK HERE to open that collection.Climate Change
Persistent Herbicide Fight
Policy--State and Local
Preserving Landfill Bans
The goal of this factsheet is to provide composters with some basic definitions relating to Global Climate Change, help them understand composting’s role, and offer some direction for additional resources.
The types and volumes of VOCs emitted from properly operated commercial composting facilities are naturally occurring (biogenic) and do not pose significant risk to the formation of ground level ozone.
In 2011, the USCC initiated a public-private partnership to develop a model compost rule template (MCRT). The template includes a three-tiered permit structure, with design and operating requirements based on materials composted and technology employed. The foundation of the tiers is the feedstock categories, which are based on the materials’ potential risks to human health and the environment. The template also includes siting and testing requirements based on quantity and types of feedstocks processed. The MCRT is anticipated to be a “living document” that will be periodically reviewed and updated as knowledge and experience in compost manufacturing and regulating continue to mature.
We welcome comments and suggestions. The Legislative and Environmental Affairs Committee of the USCC will periodically review the comments and update the Model Rules as appropriate.
The US Composting Council calls on chemical manufacturers to withdraw herbicides known to persist in soil and compost with phytotoxic plant effects and to take responsibility for the damage these persistent herbicides cause, and on the US EPA and state agencies to take immediate and decisive action to prevent further environmental and financial damage.
As the national organization representing a wide range of composters we focused our comments on a few areas that have a potential for setting precedents that may be copied by other states.
- Physical Contamination Limits in Compost: One of the guiding principles of the USCC is that product quality can only be defined in relation to its intended use. So it should be the purchasers and users of the products—the marketplace—that should set the product quality standards beyond minimum health and safety standards
- Food Scraps to Dairy Loophole: We are opposed to allowing dairies to take off-farm food scraps for digestion under a simple “notification” tier.
- Regulating Direct Land Application: We support increased regulation of this practice to protect not only markets for compost but even more so for reducing the threat of spreading imported pests
The US Composting Council reviewed draft regulations put forth by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources titled “Plant Nutrient Application Requirements for Agricultural Land and Land Not Used for Agricultural Purposes.” Comments touched on a number of areas starting with definitions for terms such as ‘biosolids,’ ‘compost,’ and ‘fertilizer.’ Council staff will continue to follow the progress of these draft regulations and encourage conditions that are based on scientific best management practices and improve markets for compost products.
USCC submitted letters of support and comments to the State of Rhode Island General Assembly regarding H7033 (S2315) and H7482 (S2436), two bills that would require large generators of food residuals to recycle those residuals. This legislation mandates producers of food residuals to 1) source-separate food residuals from other solid waste for recycling; and 2) recycle or treat food residuals on-site or send their organic waste to a recycling facility.
- The reinstatement of three soil types to the list of “eligible soil types” that are acceptable as part of the five foot of separation from the zone of continuous ground water saturation.
- Allow residual that has gone through the PFRP to be stored off pad until reincorporated into the composting process.
For compost manufacturers whose product is destined for use on food crops with a potential for compost to be on the final product and whose composts include manures or food scraps, we recommend a two-tier approach. A stricter level of testing to allow no application-to-harvest restrictions and a standard level that includes the USDA-recommended 45-day separation between application and crop harvest.
Presentation By Dr. Stuart Buckner to the Recycling Organizations of North America on the positive impacts of banning yard trimmings
The U.S. Composting Council is strongly in favor of SF-306 and the emphasis it puts on
recovering, reusing, and recycling organics, particularly food scraps.
This bill will not only reduce production of harmful methane gas at landfills in Iowa, it
will also increase awareness of organics recycling in Iowa.
The USCC opposes US EPA’s proposal to expand the renewable fuel pathways for landfill biogas-to-electricity to qualify as a renewable fuel.
More info on the proposed standards can be found at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm
USCC opposes SB 462’s 1500′ exclusion zone for composting facilities around schools on a property-line-to-property-line basis, and more more generally on reversing DEQ’s progressive performance-based permitting to prescriptive legislation.
The US Composting Council wholeheartedly supports Raised Bill 1116, An Act Concerning The Recycling Of Organic Materials By Certain Food Wholesalers, Manufacturers, Supermarkets And Conference Centers.
Email to Composting Council Members and Allies that are in or do business in Connecticut:
HELP IMPROVE FOOD SCRAP SEPARATION AND COLLECTION! Take action NOW!
In 2011 Connecticut legislature enacted PA 11-217 to start pushing source-separated organics from groceries and other major generators towards composting and anaerobic digestion. This new bill was introduced to address several of the shortcomings in that legislation.
We support the overall intent of the package of changes, and suggest improvements to:
- Definition of Food Materials.
- Regulatory placement of food materials and vegetative food scraps.
- End Product Quality
- Defining “Digestate”
- One percent limitation on incoming feedstock contamination
- use of TMECC standards
AB 323 presents a package of policies that will drive the recycling of yard trimmings and food scraps, not only
resulting in a reduction of pollution and greenhouse gases, but also creating jobs and supporting a
burgeoning clean tech industry.
This two-page summary explains why the US Composting Council is firmly opposed to landfilling yard trimmings, food residuals and other source-separated organics when viable alternatives are available.
The USCC seeks to explain the nature and role of compost within the framework of the Farm Bill, offer its own positive experiences and provide specific suggestions for the more effective promotion of compost to the benefit of rural, suburban and urban economies and communities in the U.S.
The following statement supports the inclusion, recognition and promotion of compost manufacturing and compost use within the 2012 Farm Bill.
Report from the Delaware Solid Waste Management Authority on the impact of yard trimming bans, which concludes that “states or counties with landfill bans receive significantly less yard waste [at their landfills] on a
per capita basis then those without bans.”
This is a great presentation developed by JD Lindeberg of Resource Recycling that debunks the claims made by the waste industry on the alleged benefits of repealing the ban on landfilling in Michigan. For a PDF version use the download link. For a Powerpoint version click here.
Letters from two different EPA regions demonstrates that the US EPA supports the continuation of landfill bans for yard debris and sees them as essential to ensuring that these resources continue to find their way into reuse markets, such as composting.
This report documents the link between climate change and unsustainable patterns of consumption and wasting, dispels myths about the climate benefits of landfill gas recovery and waste incineration, outlines policies needed to effect change, and offers a roadmap for how to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within a short period. Stop Trashing the Climate provides compelling evidence that preventing waste and expanding reuse, recycling, and composting programs — that is, aiming for zero waste — is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies available for combating climate change. The report was authored by Brenda Platt, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, David Ciplet, Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance/Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, and Kate M. Bailey and Eric Lombardi, Eco-Cycle. Click HERE to visit the Stop Trashing the Climate website.
The report prepared by CM Consulting for the Region of Niagara, Canada, provides the ‘true costs’ or ‘full cost accounting’ associated with the environmental and human health impacts of composting, landfill and energy from waste (EFW) for 47,178 tonnes of organic waste projected to be managed in the Region. The results show that in the case of the Region of Niagara, the ‘True Costs’ associated with managing organics are $(15.76) and $32.18 per tonne for composting leaf, yard and brush waste, and food waste respectively, $75.14 per tonne for landfill with gas flaring, 49.37 per tonne for landfill with gas recovery for electricity generation, and from $62.72 – $142.72 per tonne for EFW.
Though ultimately overridden, this documents the successful drive to have Gov. Crist veto the landfill ban repeal.
Biocycle puts the landfill energy myth to bed
This paper for JD Lindeberg and Mike Csapo explain why MI 864 is bad for the economy and the environment. NOTE: This document is placed for the convenience of our members. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the USCC or our sponsors.