Go Green OC, a campaign dedicated to initiating zero waste goals and assisting with the implementation of such projects for Ocean City, Maryland recently launched the first phase of their campaign with a Compost Pilot Program. The four-week program includes a national partnership with Sunbelt Rentals, local partnerships with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, an organic farm in Berlin and The Hobbit Restaurant.

For the first two weeks, the owner of The Hobbit Restaurant, Garvey Heiderman, will be focusing on gathering data from all organic waste created pre-consumer. During the final phase of the program, the entire restaurant will participate in separating compostable food scraps from the waste stream. “Normally, these food scraps would be sent to an incinerator but we are repurposing them in our local market”, says Josh Chamberlain, founder of Go Green OC.

Composting is in heavy demand. This year the State Highway Administration is required to use compost and compost-based products for specified pollution mitigation strategies. Farmers use it for their crops, businesses use it for landscaping, and individuals require it for their gardens and home uses. It can reduce up to 95% of pollutant runoffs when used properly. Community composting can also create between 10 and 15 local jobs.

“The Hobbit Restaurant is looking forward to being the first participant in this pilot composting project. We know the public is very interested in programs which positively impact the environment and we are excited to push forward. ” Heiderman says.

The Town of Ocean City benefits from this program in several ways. The amount of waste removed from trash pickup saves the town money in tipping fees. Also, the program minimizes the need for multiple weekly trash pickups at the Hobbit, thus spending less of the town’s resources. “This is a win-win for our community. Our local farmer benefits from our organic waste, The Hobbit Restaurant supports a sustainable environmental program and the town saves money”, says Chamberlain.

“This program would not have been possible without the incredible support of Sunbelt Rentals, Mr. Heiderman, consultation from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and our local farm. We hope that by community members leading this pilot program that others will follow,” says Deb Heft, Vice President of Go Green OC. Go Green OC hopes to expand the program in 2019 and is looking for additional farms to assist with collection of organic waste.

For more information, visit www.gogreenwithoc.org.