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Commercial On-Site Food Composting

adding foodwaste to compost bin

On-Site Composting

A variety of systems are available that may benefit a business or school's bottom line and the environment.

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Many companies, organizations and schools around the country have found on-site food waste composting to be an effective means of reducing the amount of materials they are paying to have hauled off as garbage while, at the same time, creating a valuable resource in the form of finished compost. Most on-site composting systems are "in-vessel" meaning they are in a container and they are usually fully contained and vermin resistant. They range in processing capacities from a couple of pounds per day to thousands of pounds per day and the cost for these systems covers a similarly large range.

An expected pay-back period on a new in-vessel composting system is likely around 7 years, making it a good long term financial investment with excellent short term PR benefits. There is the added benefit of becoming an on-site source of compost to nourish landscape plants. Schools also find that in-vessel composting systems become excellent teaching tools.

In order to assess first-hand the benefits and draw-backs of on-site in-vessel composting King County launched a pilot program in 2003 to place in-vessel systems with partnering businesses, organizations, and schools who maintain the systems and provide data and feedback on them to the county. Detailed results of the pilot program are now available in the final report (PDF, 60 K).

Commercial On-Site Food Composting Systems


Kinley Deller, Project Manager
Commercial on-site food composting
King County Solid Waste Division
Telephone: 206-477-5272 | Fax: 206-296-4475
TTY Relay: 711

If you have questions or would like to provide comments to the King County Project Manager, please use our comment form to ensure a timely response.

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Updated: Jul. 14, 2016

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