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The East Coast’s Largest Food Composting Facility Opens Today in Wilmington, Del.

Release Date: 04/22/2010
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 or heron.donna@epa.gov

WILMINGTON (April 22, 2010) – Today – Earth Day – is the grand opening of the Wilmington Organic Recycling Center. This facility will take food and yard waste from large waste generators like schools, hospitals, restaurants and supermarkets and turn it into usable garden compost that will be sold at retail outlets. As a Sustainability Partner with EPA, the facility will work to make its operations as “green” as possible.

Taking action to reduce greenhouse gases is one of EPA’s top priorities. Many human activities release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and we know that greenhouse gases trap heat. If human activities continue to release greenhouse gases at or above the current rate, we will continue to increase average temperatures around the globe.

When the Wilmington Organic Recycling Center (WORC) reaches its full capacity, it will reduce greenhouse gases equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road each year.

In welcoming Wilmington Organic Recycling Center as a Sustainability Partner, Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin pointed out that keeping waste out of landfills will significantly help reduce the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“Composting is an environmentally friendly alternative for dealing with food and yard waste. Instead of sending the waste to landfills where it will produce methane, a greenhouse gas, the waste will be transformed into a useful garden product,” said Garvin, who signed the partnership agreement with Scott Woods, CEO of the Peninsula Compost Group, one of three partners who developed and operate the composting facility.

Landfills are the second–largest human-related source of methane in the U.S., accounting for 23 percent of all methane emissions in 2007. Methane is generated in landfills and open dumps as waste decomposes without oxygen.

Methane remains in the atmosphere for approximately nine to15 years. Human-influenced sources of methane include landfills, natural gas and petroleum systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, stationary and mobile combustion, wastewater treatment, and certain industrial processes.

The overall goal of the Sustainability Partnership is to minimize the use of energy, resources and waste generation in the mid-Atlantic states by working with businesses and institutions with large environmental footprints and sharing best practices. The partnership initiative offers a holistic approach to help organizations “go green” in a way that often saves money and makes good business sense.

The Peninsula Compost Group, LLC, is an organics solutions company. The other WORC partners are EDiS Company of Wilmington, a green construction company and Port Contractors of New Castle, a materials handling specialists.

For more information on Composting go to: http://www.epa.gov/wastes/conserve/rrr/composting/.

For more information on Greenhouse Gases go to: http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/tools/payt/tools/gases.htm.