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Local compost pilot collects nearly 19 tons of scraps

Compost bin
Paul Mansfield photography/Getty Images
Compost bin

County Commissioners met for a work session at noon today, where leaders of the recent composting pilot presented results from their project.

Compost is the product created when biodegradable materials decompose. From April to early May, the Athens-Clarke County Government partnered with the University of Georgia to provide 400 households with a curbside compost collection service.

Joe Dunlop, the county’s Waste Reduction Administrator, said that the pilot program was a success.

“At the end of the three-month pilot, we collected over nineteen tons of compostable material. I think it’s safe to assume that otherwise would have gone in the landfill, or worse, in my view, contaminated the existing recycling programs,” he said.

In addition, Dr. Evan White, a researcher at UGA and another leader of the pilot, addressed whether or not participants in the program were bothered by compost odor.

“If we look at the number of submitted surveys versus households, the majority of people that participated submitted a survey, 61%, which is outstanding for a public works survey. And when it comes to complaints about odors or the stinky issues that normally deter people from composting, 80% said they had no issue,” he said.

Half of the participants who filled in a survey offered by the program said that they would want property taxes to cover the cost of future compost programs.

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