Republic Services diverted 1.7 billion pounds of organics from landfills in 2019
Focus increasingly on composting, with 11 facilities in operation
With 11 compost facilities in five U.S. states, Republic Services processed 1.7 billion pounds of yard and food waste at its organics facilities in 2019, creating more than 275,000 tons of compost, which is marketed and sold to landscapers, golf courses and farmers, as well as residential customers.
Yard and food waste currently make up about 30 percent of the municipal solid waste that's sent to landfills, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. However, by diverting this material to compost facilities, that waste can be recycled into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that helps plants grow and replenishes soil.
Republic says many of its composting facilities are technologically advanced, using mechanical aeration to speed up the biological process and reduce odours.
The facility at the Otay Landfill in Chula Vista, Calif., is a unique example - it's completely off the grid, using solar-powered fans and a cover technology that requires little energy consumption and traps odours, dust and emissions. The Otay facility is one of six in California, where there is a greater demand due to legislation mandating the diversion of organic waste from landfills.
"Organics diversion is being debated across the country, and legislation is driving this material out of landfills," said Chris Seney, director of organics operations. "Organics is an emerging industry with an enormous amount of opportunity, and Republic Services is proud to be taking the lead."