Fair Farms Testimony: Food Waste and Composting Montgomery

The Montgomery County Council is considering legislation, Bill 28-16, that will require the County to develop a strategic plan to identify the best ways to address food waste and promote composting within the county.  The hearing for Bill 28-16 will take place on July 19th at 1:30pm in the Council Office Building (3rd Floor Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville).

If you’d like to speak at the hearing for Bill 28-16, you must sign up in advance.  To do so, you can register online here or call 240-777-7803.  Speakers are allotted three minutes each to testify.  If you plan to speak, you should bring 15 copies of your testimony to the hearing.  Additionally, you should email a written copy of your testimony to county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov by Friday July 15th.

If you cannot attend the hearing, but would like to submit testimony, you can email your testimony to county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov preferably by Friday, July 15th, but no later than Tuesday, July 19th.  For more information, please visit the Montgomery County Council website.

Fair Farms Testimony on Bill 28-16:

Food Waste and Composting in Montgomery County

Food waste is one of the monumental problems with our broken food system. Across the United States, a typical household disposes of about 474 pounds of food waste every year. Such waste is the second largest category of waste comprising our landfills, just behind paper. Given that landfills are one of the largest sources of methane emissions, we at Fair Farms take food waste very Maryland is no different — according to the Maryland Department of the Environment, only 9.6% of food scraps were recycled in Maryland in 2014. That means that close to 90% of our food scraps in Maryland are sent to landfills.

Fortunately, Montgomery County has plans to reduce food waste going into the solid waste stream. The Montgomery County Council is considering legislation that will require the County to develop a strategic plan that will identify the best ways to address food waste and promote composting within the county.

Fair Farms is of the view that household food waste can and should be utilized for composting. There are a number of benefits to using compost in our gardens,

  1. improved soil structure, meaning an improved ability to hold nutrients, support plants, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere
  2. improved crop yields due to increased nutritional content in the soil
  3. less reliance on synthetic fertilizers, which ultimately means less polluted runoff in our waterways
  4. increased moisture retention, meaning less stormwater runoff, a lower water bill and lessened demand on our water supply, and
  5. healthier plants due to compost’s ability to control diseases, insects, and

The Montgomery County Council will be hearing Bill 28-16, the Food Waste and Composting Bill, on July 19 th at 1:30pm.

Please Join Fair Farms in support of this vital piece of legislation. Montgomery County residents can send an email to county.council@montgomerycountymd.gov saying you support Bill 28-16. Check out our written testimony for talking points.