5 FAQs About Municipal Composting

Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

If you have been wondering about municipal composting, you have likely asked many questions. There is a lot to consider about the costs, methods, and tools. Here are some common questions about municipal composting that may help you.

What are the benefits of composting?

You may already be aware of some of the benefits of municipal composting. It can help the environment and help save space in landfills. It can also improve soil quality, moisture content, and regenerate poor soils. Municipal composting can also decrease the usage of chemical fertilizers by providing large growing operations with a more natural option. Here are some other benefits to note.

  • Landfill emissions can be reduced.
  • Jobs can be created in your local area.
  • Farm production in your area can be increased.
  • The need for irrigation can be reduced.

Why is municipal composting needed?

If you need to help explaining why composting would be a good move for your city, these statistics from the EPA may help you.

  1. In 2015, 262.4 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) was collected throughout the United States. MSW includes items that can and cannot be composted.
  2. Paper and paperboard products made up 25.9% of that total.
  3. Yard trimming made up 13.3 percent of the 2015 MSW total.
  4. That same year, 23.4 million tons of MSW were composted. 2.1 million tons were food waste and 21.3 million tons were yard trimmings.
  5. Managing waste through recycling, composting, combustion with energy recovery, and landfilling stopped 181.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2E) of GHG from forming, according to the EPA.

What can be composted?

It is important for every composting operation, large and small, to know what can and cannot be composted. The types of MSW that can be used include “greens” and “browns.” Fresh vegetables, fruits, crushed eggshells, most garden wastes, dry leaves, untreated wood chips, and shredded newspaper can all be composted. Cooked foods, meat, bones, dairy products, glossy or coated paper, produce stickers, treated wood, pet waste, and aggressive weeds or plants should NOT be composted.

What are the most important factors of municipal composting?

There are some factors you should consider when it comes to this type of composting. These include the type of feedstock you use, the nutrient balance and particle size of the materials, and the moisture content of the mixture. Oxygen flow and temperature are also extremely important. All of these factors should be monitored throughout the composting process to create an optimal product.

How can my municipality start composting?

There are some ways that you can get your city started on using a composting program. Each municipality is different, so you will need to do a thorough analysis of what yours will need. First, consider establishing a food recovery goal to be met by a specific year. You can also try to start using “pay-as-you-throw” fees for trash, ban dumping yard trimmings in landfills, and support local composting operations. It is important to consider how composting can benefit EVERYONE in your community, not just the city government.

Find the compost turners you need

When you are ready to begin composting or would like to support local operations, you will need the right tools. A commercial or industrial compost turner (also known as a windrow turner) will help speed up operations while increasing product quality.

At SCARAB International, we offer a variety of commercial and industrial compost turners to meet the needs of any operation. You can reach us at (806) 883-7621 or Send Us an email for more information about our Products.