JULY 2010

Allied Waste opens Oregon food composting facility

Allied Waste, a Republic Services company dedicated an upgrade to its Pacific Region Compost (PRC) Facility that will serve as the state’s first food composting facility.

This is Oregon’s first facility permitted to accept all food waste including meat, bread and vegetable products. Another facility in the Portland area collects a small amount of food waste and transports it to the nearest facility in Washington, a round trip of 344 miles.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) found that almost 15 percent of the material landfilled in Oregon is food waste.

Accepting food waste, as opposed to just yard waste, required additional infrastructure and equipment. Allied Waste paved two acres and purchased and installed a composting system that has been used successfully in numerous facilities in Washington and California.

Called aerated static pile technology, this system captures and controls emissions from the composting process using a negative air system and requires a smaller footprint than other methods, which also reduces the amount of storm water runoff.

The food waste will be placed on the paved tipping area onto a bed of ground wood or yard debris to absorb any free liquid. After contaminants such as plastic are removed by manual sorting, the food waste will be mixed with other organic wastes including ground yard debris, and moved to the negative air composting area. The composting row is covered to prevent exposure to rainwater. After composting for 75-90 days, the material is screened to meet market specifications and tested for quality assurance.

The Company conducted a 6 month pilot that began in fall 2009.

Restaurants in Corvallis and Salem, Oregon State University, and grocery stores in Portland took part took in the pilot program showing food waste composting at Allied Waste’s PRC to be popular with participants. “Based on the great response the program has received, it is obvious that we are fulfilling a need,” said Robin Murbach, general manager, Allied Waste.

Now that the pilot program is over food waste recycling will soon be expanding in Oregon to include residential food waste composting to residents of Corvallis, Salem and portions of Portland.

This nutrient rich compost will be available for sale beginning this summer. It will be available in bulk for $12 per yard at the PRC.