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Tag: Veteran Compost

compost bins at Truxtun Park 2021

At Annapolis Green we’ve discussed composting in terms of Nature’s circle of life: animals and plants begin life, they mature and flourish, they die, and the remains are returned to the Earth, starting the cycle anew.

This is how things worked for eons before human hubris decided that we know better. Human population growth sparked urbanization and the waste-back-to-the-Earth social norm was warped with the creation of non-biodegradable materials and landfills. We need things to rot, not live in the suspended animation of a landfill, so they can be returned to the Earth. That’s where you come in.  

hands holding compostComposting is one way very easy way you can incorporate the Circle of Life into your own life. It’s something you can do, right at home, to mitigate the effects of Climate Change. Landfills produce a huge amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming so reducing the amount of food that goes into the landfill reduces the methane produced.

If you don’t want to compost in your backyard or can’t because you’re in a condo or apartment, we have the perfect solution right here in Annapolis. Through the end of March there are bins set up at Truxtun Park (near the skateboard area) into which Annapolis residents can simply dump their compostables – kitchen veggie and fruit scraps, meat, bones, grains and bread, soiled pizza boxes, and compostable cups, plates and flatware, etc. Put the material in as is – not in a plastic bag (just like you do with your recyclables). This is available 24/7 through March 30. It’s a free pilot program we are operating for the City. Read more.

To be clear, nothing breaks down and returns to the Earth in landfills – at least not for hundreds of years. Most landfills are lined with materials that keep anything that may leach from the mountains of mixed trash out of the water table below (a good thing) and the landfills are capped. That makes landfills an anaerobic place – that is, devoid of the oxygen that causes materials to decompose. Some scientists have said that in a few hundred years we’ll still be able to reach newspaper pages from today’s landfills.

We are now in the final month of a pilot program we established with the City of Annapolis whereby Annapolis residents can bring their kitchen cuttings to specially designated bins at Truxtun Park. The material is collected weekly by our partner, Veteran Compost. The company puts the material in to huge piles that get very hot as the decomposition process gets underway. Veteran turns the piles periodically with heavy machinery, makes sure it gets plenty of oxygen with a propriety process, and puts it through a fine sieve. The result – in about two months – is fluffy, sweet-smelling compost… a soil amendment that is perfect for every garden, whether residential or commercial. It is Nature’s fertilizer.

The purpose of the pilot program (funded by a Clean Up & Green Up Maryland grant we obtained from Keep Maryland Beautiful, the Forever Maryland Foundation, Maryland Environmental Trust and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development), is to find out if Annapolis residents have an appetite for curbside collection of compostables. (The city set up a companion program of curbside collection in the Hunt Meadow neighborhood that will also end this month. It is being operated by Annapolis Compost.)

Since October the Truxtun collection has yielded about 750 pounds each week. Many people drop by at their leisure to put kitchen scraps in the bins thus keeping their trash cans under the sink less messy and without food odors. For you home composters: at Truxtun you can deposit meat, bones, and crab shells – materials that won’t decompose at home. If you haven’t disposed of your food waste in this way yet – give it a try!

The results of the collection and your wishes will determine whether the City goes ahead with a curbside collection program in the future. If you think this is a good idea, you have to let your alderman or alderwoman and the Mayor know or the program will not continue.

Please weigh in on this. Composting is something we can ALL do under this program – even apartment dwellers – for the good of the planet.

compost secret sauce logoWant some of that compost for your spring garden? As a fundraiser, Annapolis Green is selling 15-pound bags of compost (for $10 plus tax), which we call Secret Sauce because of the incredible results you’ll get from your garden with this special amendment. It’s so much better for your garden and for the environment than synthetic, commercial fertilizers.

There are three ways you can buy the Secret Sauce compost:

oysters on the half shellA final note:  We also encourage returning oyster shells to their rightful place – the Bay. But, we encourage doing this in a way that is safe for our favorite bivalve, the Bay’s health, and ours. That means putting the shells in any of the Oyster Recovery Partnership’s collection bins. ORP will take the shells to its facility on the Eastern Shore where they will be dried in the sun for a year to kill any pathogens that might be present. Then, the shells will be put in a huge vat with oyster spat (baby oysters that look like larvae) that are looking for a substrate to which they can attach to meet the requirements of the rest of their lives. Because the oysters population is so low now, oyster shells are like gold. They are desperately needed if we are to revive this depleted population. That means that the landfill is NOT the right place for them and neither is the compost bin.

–Elvia Thompson

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Founding One Hundred Spotlight

founding one hundred

Our partner in Pumpkin Spice Compost and all our composting since we started is Founding One Hundred supporter Veteran Compost – a wonderful local company owned by a Gulf War veteran. We can’t exactly remember “the when, ” but all it took was meeting owner Justen Garrity, a charismatic Army vet doing something terrific with food waste and AND employing other veterans… hence the name, Veteran Compost.

We couldn’t help but engage the special events we were helping Green with recycling and other sustainable practices and to put focus on composting. We realized that switching from plastic disposables and serviceware to compostables, was to be a game changer. Our professional composter, Veteran Compost, made it possible for us to show event organizers that plastic could be replaced with compostable cups, plates and utensils for the good of the planet. For example, in 2019, with Veteran Compost, we composted more than 18 tons of organic material. Several events, including the 2500-person annual Rotary Club of Annapolis Crab Feast, were Zero-Waste greatly reducing our impact on the landfill!

Veteran’s goal is to fuel our growth with people and material that others pass over. By processing food scraps and compostable materials at its locations from many sources in Maryland and nearby areas, Veteran is able to offer the following products:

  • Compost (in bulk or bagged)
  • Worm Castings (aka worm poop – in bags)
  • Square Foot Gardening Mix (in bulk or bagged)
  • Potting Mix (in bulk or bagged)
  • SuperSoil (bagged)
  • Biochar (bagged)
  • Burlap

Additionally, the company provides services such as composting consulting, food scrap collection for businesses and residents (in certain areas) and special event food scrap collection. In fact, Veteran has provided event service not only to Annapolis Green events but also from small weddings to festivals with thousands of attendees such as:

Veterans offers three levels of service for special events from a basic pick up of compostables in bags, to delivery and pickup of its collection bins, to full-service with its staff monitoring its bins and the process and answering attendee questions.
If you have any questions or would like to request a quote, please email info@veterancompost.com

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The Great Pumpkin Dropoff – Nov. 5-8

Give those Jack-O-Lanterns a Dignified Demise
back to the Earth

Annapolis Green is partnering with the City of Annapolis to collect and compost fall pumpkins that have outlived their decorative usefulness. Instead of putting unwanted pumpkins in the trash and condemning them to the landfill, bring them to the Great Pumpkin Dropoff at Truxtun Park!

pumpkin spice compostNext spring those nutritious pumpkins will have been turned into fantastic compost for your spring garden… Pumpkin Spice Compost!

here we grow logoThe Great Pumpkin Dropoff is part of nonprofit Annapolis Green’s Here We Grow program to encourage home gardeners to grow food with flowers with the natural soil amendment of compost rather than synthetic fertilizers and without pesticides.

The pumpkins will be turned into compost by Veteran Compost, Maryland’s only licensed compost farm and a Founding One Hundred supporter of Annapolis Green. Residents will be able to pre-order the compost as a holiday gift from Annapolis Green along with related gardening products.

The huge pumpkin currently on Church Circle will be composted too, along with its little brothers and sisters from our porches.

How it Works

Bring your pumpkins (or pumpkin bits if you’re making pie) to the bins conveniently set up on Truxtun Park Road in Truxtun Park (near the skateboard area) anytime on November 5-8.
Watch for directional signs. Just pour them into the bins and you’re done knowing that you’ve done a good thing for the Earth and lightened the landfill load!

Post photos of your pumpkins on social media. Hashtags:
#AnnapolisGreenGreatPumpkinDropoff
#AnnapolisPumpkinsBacktoNature

Be sure to remove any wax or paint from Jack-O-Lanterns as those materials will not break down with the natural pumpkin.

The Great Pumpkin Drop Flyer

compost me jack-o-lanternAnne Arundel County is also composting pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. Check out its Recycling and Waste Reduction Division Facebook page for details and other good recycling info.

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