Waste Management, Inc., a provider of comprehensive waste services (collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal) in North America, is developing a new organics facility in Okeechobee, FL to serve the South Florida region. Located on an 8-acre site, the facility will focus on processing yard, food, and clean wood waste to create value added soil amendments as well as bagged lawn and garden products.
Located adjacent to Waste Management’s existing Okeechobee Landfill operation, this is the company’s first dedicated organics composting site in Florida. The organics recycling services is slated to begin this spring (2011).
“We want to extract the highest value possible from the materials we manage. Recycling organics through composting and other technologies that may produce energy, transportation fuels or specialty chemicals enables us to generate more value from this specific material stream,” said Tim Hawkins, market area vice president for Waste Management. “With this facility, we will be able to offer southern Florida customers dedicated organics processing capability as well as generate beneficially useful products such as nutrient-rich organic compost that can close the loop with local homes and businesses in South Florida.”
The market for composting services is growing as consumers are increasingly demanding alternatives to conventional fertilizers for lawn and garden care, and municipalities and companies are seeking to increase the recycling of organic materials for beneficial use. Organic compost is considered a part of the green retail market, which has been growing at 20% annually.
North America generates over 80 million tons of organic waste each year. In the United States, approximately a third of municipal solid waste is organic, including food, yard and wood waste. Approximately 65% of yard waste and 2.5% of food waste collected in the United States is currently diverted from disposal.