With support from the Town of Stonington, the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Resources Recovery Authority (SCRRRA) began a four-month food waste composting demonstration project at the Stonington Town Transfer Station on June 30, 2021. The environmental consulting and contracting firm SCS Engineers is supporting the project.
SCRRRA currently manages approximately 135,000 tons of garbage for its 12 member municipalities (East Lyme, Griswold, Groton, Ledyard, Montville, Preston, New London, Norwich, North Stonington, Sprague, Stonington, and Waterford). About one-quarter of the volume of garbage, or 33,750 tons, is organic waste.
The development of an organics facility could convert organic waste into a valuable organic soil amendment. The demonstration project is an integral part of a larger study that SCRRRA has undertaken to determine the feasibility of developing a commercial-scale food waste composting facility in Southeastern Connecticut.
Pilot projects such as this allow the region to quickly gather information about the collection and sources of organic materials, then test and refine a high-quality compost mix. The project also provides hands-on experience and can help spark innovative waste management practices.
Compost is produced using a mix of feedstocks, raw organic materials, such as leaves, wood, and food scraps. The composting process in the SCRRRA demonstration project uses wood mulch produced by SCRRRA at the Stonington Transfer Station and food waste supplied by two Connecticut companies Blue Earth Composting of Hartford and Willimantic Waste of Willimantic.
Communities across the U.S. report success diverting organic waste from landfills and producing a viable commodity with significant benefits, as the U.S. Composting Council describes in its Factsheet. For more information and outcomes from the SCRRRA project, contact SCRRRA Executive Director David Aldridge.