Waste Managment Adds Largest Composting Facility in the Eastern U.S. to Network of Organics Processing Facilities

Waste Management Inc. announced a strategic investment in the Peninsula Compost Co., which owns and operates the Wilmington Organic Recycling Center.

WORC is the only fully operational and permitted in-vessel organics processing center in the Delaware, Md., and Virginia area. Currently, WORC processes 250 to 300 tons per day of organic waste, and have permitted capacity of up to 600 tpd, making it the largest composting facility in the eastern United States. 

The WORC facility includes an 18,000-square-foot building that is used to unload, separate, mix and grind the organic feedstock. The material is processed in a covered windrow using the Gore® Cover System. The WORC's operations could add more than 200,000 tons to WM's current annual organics processing capacity of more than 1.7 million tons and will accelerate the expansion of Waste Management's organics recycling services and development of value-added organic products in the mid-Atlantic states.

Learn about our state-of-the-art process by viewing the interactive demo: http://peninsula-compost.com/facilities/WORC-flash.html

The investment in PCC follows Waste Management's acquisition of a controlling interest in Garick LLC, a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of commercial and consumer organic lawn and garden products, which is helping Waste Management augment and develop composting and bagging operations at its facilities throughout North America.  This expansion of organic recycling services and products will be beneficial to the company's residential, commercial and industrial customers seeking to convert their organic wastes into products such as compost, mulch and organic soil amendment.

The market for composting services is growing as consumers are increasingly demanding alternatives to conventional fertilizers for lawn and garden care, and as municipalities and companies are seeking to increase the recycling of organic materials for beneficial use. 

Organic compost is considered a part of the green retail market, which has been growing at 20 percent annually.

North America generates more than 80 million tons of organic waste each year. In the United States, approximately a third of municipal solid waste is organic, including food, yard and wood waste. Approximately 65 percent of yard waste and 2.5 percent of food waste collected in the United States is currently diverted from disposal.

"We want to extract the highest value possible from the materials we manage.  Recycling organics through composting and other technologies that may produce lawn and garden materials, energy, transportation fuels or specialty chemicals enables us to generate more value from this specific material stream," said Tim Cesarek, managing director of Organic Growth at Waste Management. "Combining Waste Management's leadership and expertise in the collection and management of organic feedstocks with PCC's resources, knowledge and experience in organic composting will be key to developing new, high value-added end markets for organic materials and accelerating the growth of organics recycling across North America."

"Waste Management's investment in PCC will allow it to provide an organics solution to existing and potential customers," said Charles Gifford, managing director and co-founder of The Peninsula Compost Group, LLC, one of WORC's founding partners.  "Peninsula Compost Company and Waste Management's mutual commitment to redirecting organic waste streams to higher and better uses will greatly assist our shared customers in accomplishing their recycling and sustainability goals."

This investment complements Waste Management's other investments in organic recycling.  Last year, Waste Management invested in Enerkem and Harvest Power to expand its organics processing facilities across North America.  Enerkem is developing an innovative gasification technology to produce renewable transportation fuels, and Harvest Power is developing anaerobic digestion technology to accelerate the decomposition of organic materials that may produce renewable energy. In 2009, the company also invested in Terrabon to generate renewable transportation fuels from organic waste via a unique MixAlco™ technology. 

This investment in PCC, as well as in Garick, Enerkem, Harvest Power and Terrabon, complement Waste Management's comprehensive waste services in the areas of recycling, landfill, waste-to-energy and consulting services.  They also contribute to three of Waste Management's sustainability goals: doubling its renewable energy production, tripling the amount of recyclables processed by 2020 and investing in new technologies for managing waste.