St. Louis composting facility privatizes operations
The City of St. Louis signed a three-year
contract with St. Louis Composting, Inc. to manage and operate
the city’s 10-acre composting center.
The facility was previously operated by the City’s Forestry Division
and annually processed an estimated 50,000 cubic yards of green
material. The eight full-time city employees who previously worked
at the composting site have been re-assigned to other jobs within
the division according to Forestry Commissioner Greg Hayes.
“Privatization just made sense,” Hayes said. “Antiquated equipment
made our operation inefficient. It saved the city from having
to invest a significant sum in new specialized machinery. St.
Louis Composting is a well-capitalized, accomplished specialist
that knows the business inside and out,” Hayes added. “Come next
spring, residents will have access to a far greater selection
of top-quality compost and mulch products at the Company’s new
retail operation than our division would not have been able to
Under the agreement, the City’s Forestry Division will continue
to deliver all of its green waste to the site. Additionally,
any resident of St. Louis City will be allowed to dispose of
five cubic yards of green material free of charge the first Saturday
of every month.
“We believe it is feasible to increase processing output in the
first year to at least 100,000 cubic yards, effectively doubling
the output of previous years” said Patrick Geraty, president
of St. Louis Composting.
Currently, Geraty’s workers are focused on processing an estimated
50,000 – 60,000 cubic yards of green material stored on the site.
They are also making improvements to a 3,750 square-foot equipment
maintenance/warehouse building and to a covered, 200 foot-long
loading dock that will be central to the retail operation the
company will open next spring.
Geraty said the facility also hopes to begin accepting food waste
and other source-separated organics – a first for metro St. Louis
– in early 2010. He said several well-known restaurants and food
service operations appear poised to participate in a food waste
“Many area restaurateurs have embraced the local food movement,
using food produced in the community to feed the community,”
Geraty said. “By partnering with St. Louis Composting to recycle
food waste, the process comes full circle – from garden to table
and back again.”