City-parish considering creation of composting facility

    The East Baton Rouge Parish Department of Environmental Services is considering creating a composting facility that would redirect green waste such as grass and leaves from the landfill, says Director of Environmental Services Richard Speer.

    The study is being done in-house, says Speer, adding they’re looking at the potential cost to set up such a facility. Green waste is currently collected by Republic Services, which has held the city-parish’s sanitation services contract for nearly 15 years.

    Redirecting green waste would lower the city-parish’s contamination rate, which is the percentage of non-recyclables people try to recycle that ultimately go to a landfill. Currently, the city-parish’s contamination rate is between 20% and 22%, Speer estimates.

    Department staff members have talked with officials from several other cities who have their own composting facilities, including San Antonio, Fort Worth and Phoenix.

    Speer would like the department to start work on the project sometime next year, but says they won’t know until the end of the year if it’s a feasible endeavor. If it is, the department will hire an outside agency to study potential locations for the facility.

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