At its annual conference in March, the Carolina Recycling Association honored New Hanover County’s Environmental Management Department with a 2019 Annual Recycling Award for its food waste composting program.
"New Hanover County is reducing the amount of waste going into the county’s landfill by composting food waste and using the finished product in county parks and gardens and sharing it with local organic farmers," a news release stated. "Since the composting program began in November 2017, more than 80 tons of compost has been generated."
The program was born after the Environmental Management Department conducted two consecutive waste audits and learned that more than half of the waste finding its way into the county landfill was compostable, said department director Joe Suleyman.
“So we decided to be proactive and purchase an innovative in-vessel system designed to eliminate odors and wastewater issues that are typically associated with composting," he said in the release. "All the pre-consumer food waste from UNCW’s dining hall is processed through the system, in addition to feed stocks from restaurants, private individuals, and farmer’s markets.”
The composting program is open to all residents and businesses. County residents can bring unpackaged food waste, free of charge, to the county’s composter located at the landfill (5210 U.S. Highway 421 N.) or to the HazWagon, located at various places throughout the county each week. Residents can also arrange for food waste collection at their home or business. Learn more here