Composting is an aerobic (oxygen-dependent) degradation process by which plants (e.g., leaves, vegetable trimmings, lawn clippings and similar garden debris) and other organic wastes decompose under controlled conditions.
Waste composition studies indicate that yard waste represents from 10-30 percent of municipal solid waste. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that 18 percent of the total weight of municipal solid waste generated is yard waste; When the leaves fall, that percentage can soar to 35-40 percent.
Maryland Environmental Service operates composting facilities in Prince Georges and Montgomery County, turning yard waste into the popular soil amendment named Leafgro©. At MES-operated composting facilities, communities turn their grass and leaves into a resource, rather than a waste.
Maryland towns and counties want to expand composting efforts. At MES, our engineers continue to study ways to add food waste to the composting mix. We are currently operating a food composting pilot project for Prince George's County.