Evaluation of Opportunities to Increase Organics Recycling (Prince George’s County, Maryland)

The Waste Management Division (WMD) of the Department of Environmental Resources (DER) among the activities related to solid waste management within Prince George’s County owns Yard Waste Composting Facility at Western Branch for processing into compost or mulch. The County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation assists with the collection of leaves and seasonal yard waste in some residential areas as part of the County’s “Right-of-Way” Maintenance Program, and provides special collection service for storm debris. More than 60,000 tons per year (TPY) of yard and wood waste were delivered to County facilities for recycling in 2010 and 2011 by County-contracted haulers from in- and out-of-county generators.. In addition to the yard waste the County is interested to explore the options for including the residential and commercial food scrap material. GBB was hired to analyze the possibilities to divert food waste from the landfilling. GBB then provided a preliminary analysis of the potential projects for further analysis and discussion and recommended the following options to be closer evaluated including: upgrade of the existing composting plant for commingled processing of yard and food waste, anaerobic digestion of commercial food waste and collecting the residential food waste trough in-sink waste disposals for processing in an anaerobic digestion plant combined with biosolids and commercial food waste at wastewater treatment plant followed with composting of separately collected yard waste at upgraded composting plant. The technical, economic, management, and regulatory characteristics of each option were examined, and GBB prepared a Memorandum Report with analysis of options and recommendations for the Waste Management Division of the County.