February 27, 2024 | Climate, Composting, Food Waste, Markets, Policies + Regulations

New Georgia Composting Council

Top: CompostNow’s on-farm food waste composting facility near Atlanta. Photo courtesy CompostNow

The newly formed Georgia Composting Council (GACC), an official chapter of the US Composting Council, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the use and production of compost in Georgia. The chapter’s role is to promote the composting industry and the reduction, reuse, and recycling of organic material through the support of infrastructure development, quality control, training, legislative and regulatory advocacy, and public education throughout the state. “Initially GACC will work to coalesce the existing industry and associated partners in Georgia, assess needs, and address infrastructure growth via eliminating obstacles and expanding available resources,” explains Gloria Hardegree, Executive Director of the Georgia Recycling Coalition (GRC). (The GACC is established under the auspices of the GRC.)

Food residuals makes up 12% (more than 800,000 tons) of the waste sent to Georgia landfills each year, with approximately 48% coming from the greater Atlanta area. Additionally, 65% of organic residuals from water and wastewater utilities are sent to landfills. “The state desperately needs more composting infrastructure,” notes David Paull, Chief Impact Officer at CompostNow, which operates a food waste composting facility in the state. Paull is serving as the GACC’s Board Chair, and outlines key steps to facilitate infrastructure creation:

  1. Increase statewide awareness and understanding of the multifaceted value of composting across all stakeholders.
  2. Focus on specific legislative and advocacy efforts, such as advocating for the inclusion of composting in county and regional comprehensive solid waste management plans and local zoning.
  3. Bring more resources to the state to develop the industry through education, funding, and marketing.

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