About a year ago, BioCycle profiled Rockville, Maryland-based Compost Crew, a food waste collection company providing service in northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland. Compost Crew was just about to celebrate its 10th anniversary in April 2021. At the time, it was servicing around 5,000 households and was restarting service to its commercial accounts that had been impacted by the pandemic. In 2020, close to 2,500 tons of food waste were diverted to composting at Freestate Farms in Manassas (VA) and the Prince George’s County Organics Composting Facility in Upper Marlboro (MD).
Another innovation was the introduction of a modular composting system, branded Compost Outpost™, designed to be installed on farms, corporate and university campuses and municipal sites. “Compost Outpost uses containers, divided into two aerated bays,” explains Ben Parry, CEO of Compost Crew. “Each bay has capacity to process one ton of food scraps per week. Our goal is to build more of our own distributed composting capacity to service our collection routes.” The first Compost Outpost™ was installed at One Acre Farm in Dickerson, Maryland. It had two containers with a total of four aerated bays. Over the past year, Compost Crew tripled the capacity of the One Acre Farm site, while developing new Compost Outposts at two locations that will begin operations in 2022. EcoCity Farms in Bladensburg (MD), one of the new sites, will open this spring. Aeration fans will be powered by solar panels installed on the roof of one of the containers.
Other updates from Compost Crew include:
- Surpassed 7,000 commercial and residential customers. This reflects an increase of more than 1,600 additional homes in the Maryland, District of Columbia and northern Virginia area since the end of 2020.
- Diverted over 3,750 tons of food waste from landfills and incinerators in 2021
- Partnered with the City of Baltimore to introduce 5 food scraps drop-off locations, adding to existing municipal drop-off sites it manages in several jurisdictions in northern Virginia
- Named the Organics Diversion Program of the Year by the US Composting Council, and the Green Business Innovator of the Year by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce