Q&A: Is office composting feasible?

Q:  Is office composting feasible?

A:  Yes. San Francisco, Seattle and Portland are among cities that have commercial composting programs. In NYC less than 3% of offices do and Great Forest has helped approximately one third of them set up composting programs. From our experience, the biggest myth about composting in the office is the odor. This fear is without basis when composting is done properly.

Here’s how an office composting program works: Bins are placed in the cafeteria kitchen and in some dining areas to collect food scraps. At the end of each day, these bins are covered tightly with lids and stored (sometimes in a cold room) for pick up, separate from regular trash and recyclables. 

In most cases, no actual composting is done on site.  In NYC, office and commercial compost end up at one or two farms that process food waste into animal feed or nutrient-rich compost used for landscaping and farming.

Bottom line: implementing an office composting program is easy and your tenants/colleagues will not notice much difference.  While there is a fee to handle compost, this may be offset by lower waste hauling fees.  Remember, office  composting programs could earn your building extra points towards LEED, but above all, it will improve your businesses’ environmental impact.

Check to see if your building has a composting program or call Great Forest to discuss installing one.

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