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Curbside Composting Pilot Program Kicks Off in April

A curbside composting pilot program will begin in Salem on April 16.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The city of Salem announced Monday that it has selected Black Earth Compost LLC to transport curbside composting and also process this kitchen waste.

"Black Earth Compost is in its fourth year of business and currently services commercial and residential compost customers along the North Shore from Newburyport down to Swampscott," the release read.

Black Earth Compost will provide both the collection/transportation and the composting itself, so the City will save money by having no tipping fees and will receive compost in return. 

Black Earth Compost partners with farms throughout the North Shore to manage the compost on those farms. In exchange, the farmers and participating residents receive a free portion of the highly nutritious compost, creating an agricultural win as well as an environmental win. In 2013 Black Earth Compost diverted about 1.5 million pounds of organics to their customers. 

According to the Commonwealth’s Department of Environmental Protection organic waste, primarily food scraps, can make up as much as 25% of a community’s tonnage sent to disposal facilities. Organics are a great resource that can be composted into new soil for use in many projects, from highway construction to gardening.

“Salem has been on the forefront of many green initiatives and curbside composting will be yet another such program” said Mayor Kim Driscoll in a prepared statement. “We are excited to begin implementing the program this April and have already signed up over 400 interested households.”

Current Salem businesses that also compost include Finz, Milk and Honey, Coffee Time Bakery and Café, Life Alive, Scratch Kitchen, and the Lobster Shanty.

There is still capacity for additional residents interested in signing up for the pilot program that begins on April 16. 

This program provides an alternative to home composting, which can be cumbersome in some small yards. If you are interested in participating, please go to GreenSalem.com and fill out the short survey.  

If you would like to volunteer in support of this effort, please contact Julie Rose atjrose@salem.com or 978-619-5679.

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