NATIONAL ORGANIZATION HONORS ST. PETERS’ COMPOSTING PROGRAM
The City of St. Peters has garnered another major honor for its Organic Resource Recycling Program. The Solid Waste Association of North America recently chose St. Peters the winner of the 2010 Gold Excellence Award in Composting.
“The Organic Resource Recycling Program is a great example of how St. Peters goes green. We save materials from the landfill and create earth-friendly compost that’s used throughout the community,” said Mayor Len Pagano. “It’s a great feeling when organizations who are committed to improving our environment tell us that our City is doing the right thing.”
The Solid Waste Association of North America is dedicated to advancing the practice of environmentally and economically sound management of municipal solid waste in North America.
This is the third outside organization to recognize St. Peters’ Organic Resource Recycling Program for its positive impact on the community. In 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded St. Peters a National Clean Water Act Recognition Award in the category of Exemplary Biosolids Management for a large operating facility. In 2007, St. Peters received an Outstanding Management of Wastewater Plant Biosolids award from the Missouri Water Environment Association for developing and implementing cost-effective, environmentally safe and publicly acceptable biosolids management practices.
“All of your staff should be very proud of these successful efforts in achieving the highest level of excellence in solid waste management,” Pamela S. Wike, a representative for the Solid Waste Association of North America, said when notifying St. Peters of the award. “This is no small accomplishment given the excellent quality of this year’s nominations and the challenges faced by many of the programs and operations in the solid waste industry.”
“The Organic Resources Recycling Program beneficially recycles biodegradable yard waste matter and dewatered biosolids. St. Peters collects yard waste curbside, and opens the Earth Centre facility at the end of Ecology Drive to yard waste drop-off. The nutrient-rich biosolids are byproducts of St. Peters’ wastewater treatment process. Dewatered biosolids and yard waste are processed, mixed, composted, tested and sold back to the community to be used to improve soil or control erosion. As a St. Peters resident, you’re entitled to two free cubic yards of compost or mulch each year.
The program also recycles lime that settles out during the water treatment process. Farmers use the lime to balance soil pH for ideal growing conditions.
The Organic Resource Recycling Program recycles 6,000 tons of biosolids on an annual basis—each year saving the weight equivalent of a ferry boat from the landfill. The program processes another 30,000 cubic yards of yard waste into reusable mulch and compost. Between 2,000-3,000 St. Peters residents pick up free compost or mulch each year from Earth Centre. St. Peters residents also can purchase extra product at reduced rates, and other area residents also buy product from Earth Centre. Contractors regularly buy the compost from Earth Centre for erosion control, creating filter socks and blanketing land to stop sediment run-off at construction or landscaping sites. The City also uses the compost for erosion control, and to help grow vegetation after construction projects or in constructed wetland projects. Erosion control helps with clean water by keeping sediment on-site instead of running off and polluting streams