Howard County Sees Environmental And Economic Potential In Composting | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Howard County Sees Environmental And Economic Potential In Composting

Play associated audio
Robyn Page with her daughters Simone Page Gilmore, right, and Vivienne Page Gilmore, left, and their compost bin.
Jessica Gould
Robyn Page with her daughters Simone Page Gilmore, right, and Vivienne Page Gilmore, left, and their compost bin.

Maryland's Howard County is calling on residents to put their leftovers to use through a new food scraps recycling program.

When Robyn Page tells her daughters to clean their plates, she really means it.

"So this is our in-house bin. So today when we finish lunch, we had apple for lunch, we're going to put our apple cores in the bin. And then we take it out back," she says.

Page and her family have been composting food scraps for years. She says the scraps make a rich fertilizer for the family's organic garden, and composting teaches an important lesson about conservation to her children.

"I think it's really important for kids to learn that we can't just trash our planet," she says.

Plus, as her daughter, 6-year old Vivienne Page Gilmore says: "It makes a beautiful mess."

And Howard County Executive Ken Ulman says composting leftovers also makes economic sense.

"This is great for the environment but it's also great for economics because we pay firms to haul our trash away to a landfill," he says. "And as much as we can minimize that it helps our bottom line economically as well."

Starting in September, Howard County will unveil a new curbside recycling program for food scraps. Brown banana peels, shattered egg shells, greasy pizza boxes -- the county wants them all.

"It will go to a facility in Carroll County where they currently process our yard waste," Ulman says. "Now the same truck can also take the food scraps. And they're then composted into soil."

As part of the pilot program, the county will distribute special composting bins to participating residents.

"We're really trying to change the culture in Howard County and make sure sustainability is factored into every decision we make. We're also trying to focus people on the economics of it as well," he says. "If we make wise investments not only will we help the environment, but we're also helping our budget especially in these tough times," he says.

NPR

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
NPR

Puerto Rico Is Sowing A New Generation Of Small Farmers

Decades of industrialization have left the island reliant on imported food. But change is coming — from government subsidies for small farmers, to classes that teach school kids how to grow food.
WAMU 88.5

Abortion Is Back In The Spotlight In Virginia

The state's current attorney general is overturning a ruling from the previous attorney general that would have shut down most of the abortion clinics in the state, and the issue isn't just about regulations and politics. It's also about money.
NPR

Smartphones Can Be Smart Enough To Find A Parasitic Worm

If someone is infected by the Loa loa worm, taking a drug to treat river blindness could be risky. Now there's a fast way to identify the worm — by turning a smartphone into a microscope.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.