Compost Challenge

2015 MGR Compost Challenge Results 

Since food scraps and yard trimmings make up nearly one third of the municipal waste stream in Maryland, we challenged Maryland Green Registry members to reducing and composting these wastes and asked them to tell us about it.

Eighty five members, including colleges and universities, restaurants, landscapers and commercial offices, shared their practices and were entered into a prize drawing at the 2015 Maryland Green Registry Annual Awards Event.

The contest is over but the need to reduce and compost these wastes is not.  Composting offers enormous benefits in terms of extending landfill capacity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions with the added bonus of producing a nutrient-rich soil supplement. If you're not composting or collecting organic materials, read more below. Piloting a compost collection program at your workplace is often a good place to start and will give you an idea of the volume of material you have. 

Tips and Resources:

Everyone knows the 3 Rs when it comes to waste management: Reduce, Reuse, then Recycle. It's the same idea when it comes to food waste: Reduce, Donate, then Compost. The following guides will help you reduce food waste in the first place and then manage what is left.

Food Waste Reduction

Food Donation

Composting Offsite

Organizations may contract with haulers to collect food scraps and other organics, which are taken to off-site composting facilities for recycling. Below are examples of organics haulers operating in Maryland.

​​Composting Onsite

Businesses and institutions may also choose to compost on site. In-vessel composting systems protect materials from precipitation, require less space, and can control odors if properly managed. One easy way to get started is by collecting coffee grounds and adding them to a worm bin which can be kept indoors or out. The following are some examples of small in-vessel composting systems (bins, tubs, and tumblers):

For organizations with larger quantities of organics, such as universities, larger in-vessel systems are also available. These options may require more space and an additional area for “curing” of the material outside of the vessel. However, they can be particularly beneficial where the organization has a need for finished compost, such as for on-site landscaping activities. Please contact the Maryland Department of the Environment at 410-537-3314 for information on regulatory requirements for larger-scale composting (greater than 5,000 square feet used in support of composting). Also, please ensure that any on-site composting activities comply with local requirements by checking with your county government.

Biodegradable Foodware

Restaurants and other food service providers often find that starting a composting program leads to a re-evaluation of the plates and utensils they purchase. Depending on the hauler or composting company you contract with, you may be able to throw paper and biodegradeable plates, cups, napkins and utensils in with the food scraps while polystyrene and plastic serviceware must be disposed of separately. There are many options available for paper and compostable products, but remember reusable serviceware is best where possible.​

​​The following Maryland Green Registry​ members collect food scraps and/or yard waste for composting:

A Better Choice Bakery 

Andana Consulting 

Annapolis Green
ASG - Architectural Support Group Bee Landscaping, LLC
Catering by Seasons
Calvert Investments
Chase Lloyd House 

Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. 

City of Brunswick ​

City of Laurel​

City of Mount Rainier 

Doo Consulting 

Eastport Yacht Club
Elysian Energy, LLC
Emory Knoll Farms, Inc.
Environmental Matters, LLC
Epona Engineering
Fortezza Consulting 

Frostburg State University 

Galway Bay
Goucher College
Graphic Beans
Harford County Public Schools
Hilton Suites Oceanfront
Honest Tea
Hotel Monaco Baltimore
Hyatt-Regency Baltimore
IKEA Wholesale
Inn at Horn Point
Inn at Norwood 

Island Joe Group LLC 

Jackie Daley Realty
JBS International, Inc.
Kaliber Construction
La Prima Food Group
Life Technologies
Linganore Winecellars
Lucy School
Marriott International Headquarters
Maryland Dept. of General Services
Maryland Dept. of the Environment
Maryland State Highway Admin.
Michele’s Granola LLC
Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority 


Rachael's Dowry Bed and Breakfast
Railroaders Coffee & Tea 

Robinson Nature Center

Salisbury University
Savenia Labs 

Shipley's Choice Elem. School
St. Mary's College of Maryland
Staples, Inc. 

Straughan Environmental​

The Brunswick Citizen 

The Grass People
The Modest Florist  

The River Gem B&B
The Universities at Shady Grove
The Westin-Annapolis
Topsoil Etc.
Towne Park
Towneplace Suites by Marriott
Towson University
Turf Valley

Unity Landscape Design/Build
U.S. Army, 99th RSC
Union Hospital of Cecil County
Univ. of Maryland, College Park 

Univ. of Maryland Medical Center
Vancheries Union Ave.Café 

Veteran Compost
Wades Point Inn on the Bay
Washington College
Wildfowl Trust of North America Inc.​


The Mar​yland Green Registry is...

  • Free:
    There is no cost to join. Simply create a member profile sharing your environmental best practices.
  • Flexible:
    You choose the activities that make the most sense for your organization.
  • Inclusive:
    The Maryland Green Registry is open to organizations and facilities of all types and sizes in both owned and leased space.
  • Interactive:
    Learn here​ what other Maryland Green Registry members are doing to reduce their environmental impacts and receive staff support on checklist measures.

See Maryland Green Registry at Linked In   See Maryland Green Registry Photostream


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