Composting Stinks


Part II of the compost problem in North Plains, Oregon, ends with the elimination of commercial food waste processed at the facility.  Just goes to show you, composting stinks.

Recology Environmental Solutions Nature’s Needs, a composting facility near North Plains, Oregon, has been the subject of more than 1,500 odor complaints.  The Washington County Board of Commissioners recently voted to eliminate commercial food waste from the facility.

Nature’s Needs, an aerobic composting facility owned by Recology, processes about 45,000 tons of yard waste and other organics each year, including material from nearby Portland’s curbside food waste collection program. The facility has been processing food waste since 2010. Before that, it had accepted only yard waste. Recurring nasty odors attributed to the facility having some locals pushing for the food compost program to be terminated.

To try to reduce the odor problem, Recology had made several improvements to the site, including paving the entire processing area to help collect runoff; building raised, vegetated barriers around the property and moving some of the smellier operations to hours when they will be less of a nuisance. But while those improvements helped reduce the odor, they did not eliminate it entirely, officials said.

Residents formed an organization called Stop the Stink to lobby for the composting program to be terminated altogether. The story was that the improvements would be the fix, however, with the improvements in place it is stinking worse than ever,” Marilyn Shulz, Stop the Stink chairperson, wrote in a statement, calling the operation a “failed performance.”

According to the board’s Jan. 22 decision, Nature’s Needs will stop accepting commercial food waste after April 1, 2013. The change will reduce the amount of food waste at the facility by about 86% and its total intake volume by about 30%.

There are always going to be odor complaints where there are compost facilities accepting food waste, because composting, no matter what it is, creates some sort of odor. Composting stinks, that is a fact.

Composting operations should not be sited on the doorstep of a town so why build more?  No one wants them in their backyard.  Location.  Location.  Location…

Read the whole article here:

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