Saturday, June 29

State of the Art Composting Facility

          Well Egremont has really gone green. We are now the proud owners of a new State of the Art composting facility. Juliette Haas, the sustainability coordinator, has outshined even herself. Not only did she get the composting facility up and running in record breaking time; but on such a reasonable budget that it should pay for itself by the weight of the trash that no longer has to be hauled off and disposed of. If this system works out the way it was designed on paper it could end up saving the town a lot of money. While the idea to install a composting facility did emerge from Juliette’s sustainability coordinator mind she had a lot of other great minds to help design and install the facility. Juliette enlisted the expertise of Nick Ball head of building maintenance, Tim Hosier highway dept and Jim Fountain recycling coordinator, to design a facility that would fit the needs and budget of Egremont.
They designed a simple to assemble kit in which the individual components were built off site. When the truck arrived with the components the crew had it assembled in just a few hours. Now Egremont has a fully operational state of the art composting facility; complete with a diesel powered hydraulic compost mixer. You would think that this facility comes at a steep cost and would take decades to realize a savings; but you would be wrong. I won’t say exactly how much the facility cost because the whole project was done without even consulting the Finance Committee. I’m only assuming that the FC was not aware of the expenditures because it has not been mentioned at any of the FC meetings. I can’t wait to see the expression on Laura’s face when she sees that the BoS and sustainability coordinator purchased and installed a complete state of the art composting facility with funds from the MRF, without saying a word to the FC.
          The system was designed to fully utilize the three phases of decomposition. In the first bin people place their compostable material and it decomposes for a certain amount of time. There is a special machine that stirs the material periodically. When the phase one material is ready it is transferred to the bin for the second phase of decomp. Again it is regularly stirred up until it is ready for the third bin. Once the composting material has reached its peak it is transferred to the third bin. When the material is put into the third bin anyone can take the compost and use it for their garden. What a stroke of brilliance, all the waste that would cost hundreds of dollars per ton to dispose of can now be used to feed the gardens of Egremont.
          The people of Egremont may have to make a few minor changes in how we sort our trash, but in the long run we and the environment will be better served. I’m sure Juliette will be sending out educational pamphlets to explain how to use this new facility so when you receive it please consider using the composting facility to its fullest potential. On the bright side we don’t have to have those big black composting bins in our back yard anymore. In fact, I have already converted my bin into a ventilated dog house; now all I need is a dog. I must say that I was a bit skeptical about this sustainability coordinator position, but this seems to be working out quite well. Juliette is doing a great job finding ways to better use the wealth of waste that is produced by Egremont. Kudos Juliette for turning our trash into treasure.

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