Region 1: EPA New England

Composting in New England

Food Scrap Recycling: A Primer for Understanding Large-Scale Food Scrape Recycling Technologies for Urban Areas October 2012 (PDF) (45 pp, 1.3 MB, about PDF)

  • Describes three technologies used for recycling food residuals (or scraps): aerobic windrow composting, in-vessel aerobic composting and anaerobic digestion
  • Highlights key considerations for municipalities interested in implementing large scale food scrap recycling
Photo of compost

In New England, several state agencies and other organizations offer information on composting programs not only for individual households, but for larger entities such as municipalities, food processors, restaurants, universities, and agricultural operations. A few examples of some local composting projects:

Massachusetts Supermarket Recycling Program Certification (SRPC)
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Massachusetts Food AssociationExit(MFA), through a Memorandum of Understanding,Exithave partnered to establish a voluntary Supermarket Recycling Program CertificationExitthat encourages supermarkets to develop sustainable programs for recycling and reusing organics and other materials. Participating stores not only save money, but also improve their compliance with existing Massachusetts waste disposal bansExit(rules that prohibit disposal of certain materials that can be recycled.

Bates College
At Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, pre-consumer kitchen residuals (e.g. unbleached napkins, coffee grinds, egg shells, fruit/vegetable peelings) are taken to a local farm for composting. The program saves Bates College in disposal costs and water usage (as less food waste is put through garbage disposals). For more information on this program:

Dartmouth/Hanover Compost Facility (DHCF)
A public/private partnership formed in 1998 to compost food wastes. For more information on this program:

For more information about New England contacts and programs, see State Agencies and Other Organizations.

For more information on composting, visit EPA's national Composting web site.