ZERO TRASH—heading for the landfill, that is. This is a goal being pursued by Maryland Presbyterian Church in Towson, Maryland. After years of conventional recycling efforts, they were distressed that each week large volumes of trash were still being put out for county pickup. An analysis of this revealed that the largest bulk consisted of paper products that were not acceptable for recycling: paper towels from the pre- school, food-contaminated paper plates or food service containers, etc., but these are items that are biodegradable and in theory could be composted. Their own compost bin could not possibly handle the load, so the congregation turned to a commercial composting company for help.  Veteran Compost Inc. (“From Combat to Compost”) was happy to make an arrangement to pick up compostable items on a weekly basis to process them in their commercial-scale composting operation along with wilted vegetables and food waste from restaurants and grocery stores. This has resulted in a major reduction in the “trash” that the church puts out each week for collection, and the compostable items are subjected to nature’s recycling process and converted for use as organic soil enrichment. More on Maryland Presbyterian Church’s environmental ministries

Marjorie Roswell


Food system advocate, Drupal author, musician, and raw food enthusiast