Popular Waynesboro Composting Program Hoping to Expand

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A pilot composting program in the Shenandoah Valley proved to be so popular there's now a waiting list to participate.

Last fall, Waynesboro's Rotary Club and public works department created the program and gave away 273 GEOBINs - a type of container for collecting compost - and there’s now a waiting list for others who want to jump on board.

Tom Hadwin was a recipient of one of those GEOBINs, but he has been composting for decades. Rather than taking live things and putting them in the landfill, he lets nature recycle them.

“You need brown, which is carbon like dead leaves and things. You need green like grass clippings or vegetable waste or something like that,” Hadwin said.

Composting means nutrient-rich soil to feed flowers, shrubs, and vegetable gardens. It also keeps what doesn’t need to be wasted out of the dump.

Jennifer Allen, erosion and sediment control administrator for Waynesboro Public Works, says 35 percent of waste that ends up in a landfill is organic, meaning it could have been composted. She wants the city's support to grow the composting program.

“We would like, over a five-year period, to have a 20 percent participation rate,” Allen said.

She says it doesn't just help the city; it’s also kind to gardeners’ wallets.

“If you use compost you won't have to buy bagged manure or bagged mulch, and it also keeps water retention in soil so you don't have to use that extra water to water your plants,” she said.

The program also focuses on educating kids in school, showing them not just how to compost, but also what to compost.

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