USA Green Waste Utilization And Management

Fumiko Ishizuna

For my travel scholarship I visited the east side of United States of America from the end of April for three weeks to learn and see green waste utilization and management. My trip consisted of three parts.

1. Maine Compost School at University of Maine

Attending the compost school provided me with knowledge and scientific evidence that composting can be successful on most sites. The composting school provided me with basic and technical knowledge, which was very useful for the rest of the trip. The five-days course was an ideal way to stat off my trip. Each day was packed full of new information and provided me with the latest and most advanced composting techniques used in the industry. The course consisted of lectures, practical sessions and field trips. Also this course gave me the opportunity to get used to the terminology of composting. I also had a great opportunity to see first hand how these composting techniques were achieved on various different scales.

2. 2002 International Symposium on ‘Composting and Compost Utilisation’ in the Ohio State

The symposium provided me great opportunity to meet and speak to different people with different interest in waste management, it was a great experience listing to different views and ideas about composting. There were more than 115 oral presentations and over 80 poster discussions from 43 countries.

3. Visiting botanical gardens and parks

I have visited seven different botanical gardens and parks. For example New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Longwood Garden. Most of them are using the same method, which is windrow because the feedstock is green waste from the garden. The windrow is very simple and can be done easily on a medium scale operation, with relatively low expenses and few operators. Some of the gardens, which I visited, were relatively small and located in the city for example, Chicago District Park in Chicago. This garden did not have enough space to set up the compost yard also the odour often will be a problem in the surrounding houses.

I feel that the green waste management in the garden is such an important issue both environmentally and financially. I found most of the gardens, which have some space for the composting yard doing composting in the garden. The size of composting facility is medium compared to the commercial industry. If they use the right method and machinery costs can be kept to a minimum when compared to the cost of removing the materials and dumping it in landfill. For the future, parks in the city where they do not have much space for the composting yard should have a compact composting yard.

I believe that the education of people regarding green waste and kitchen waste will be a major issue within the next few years and feel that the botanic gardens and local authorities should be the leaders of this issue. Educating the visitors of ways of recycling their waste without taking up valuable landfill space.