Overview of Municipal Biomass Composting

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In 2009, the total amount of waste thrown away by American industries, businesses, and residences exceeded 243 million tons. 33% of this waste, or roughly 82 million tons of waste, was recycled or composted. However, 28% of this waste was recyclable, and 67% was compostable. The American population does not understand the effect mass composting may have on their own lives. Mass composting has fundamentally impacted many ecological issues, reducing an estimated 42% of annual greenhouse gas emissions; by composting or recycling that same 33% of American waste in 2009, an estimated 178 million tons of carbon dioxide were prevented from being released into the atmosphere. However, with the current state of the national composting industry a viable industry is impossible. In order to create a viable composting industry with recognizable ecological and economic benefits, private composting institutions must be offered amended, nationally recognized standards; mandated, state issued health and safety regulations; and federal subsidization. Composting has arguably been around since the 15th century. Until recently, the process has always been on a small scale and utilized for gardens. Industrial composting facilities began operation in the late 1980s. In 1990, the US Composting Council (USCC) was founded as the only national organization dedicated to the development, growth and promotion of the composting industry. The USCC reaches this objective by performing compost related research, promoting processes, establishing standards, educating professionals and the public about the benefits of composting and compost utilization, enhancing compost product quality, and developing training materials for composters and markets for comp... ... middle of paper ... .... . "USCC Compost Rules." US Composting Council Model Compost Rule Template. US Composting Council, n.d. Web. 5 May 2014. . Washington State Department of Ecolo, . "Biosolids Management Guidelines for Washington State." Washington State Department of Ecology (2000): 4-5, 9-12. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. . Appendix: USCC - US Composting Council MCRT - Model Compost Rule Template established by USCC Feedstock - Initial material to be composted Biomass - Biodegradable material (see pg. 2) Throughput - Amount of rendered product in comparison to amount of feedstock utilized

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