St. Lawrence County school using composter to turn food wast into organic material

August, 2019

By Eric Reinhardt

Hermon Dekalb Central School in St. Lawrence County is among the North Country organizations using a large-scale composter to turn food waste into organic material.

Hermon DeKalb will include the composter in its local food program.

That’s according to ANCA (Adirondack North Country Association), which describes itself as an “independent nonprofit organization growing the New Economy in northern New York.”

Lake Placid Central School and the Wild Center in Tupper Lake are also using similar equipment, per ANCA’s Tuesday news release.

The organizations are utilizing replicas of a model composter that was built at North Country School Camp Treetops (NCS/CTT) in Lake Placid in 2017. The machine allows schools and communities to process up to 200 pounds of organic matter each day, turning waste into compost in about a month’s time, ANCA said.

“Composting with this in-vessel system allows organizations, municipalities or businesses to save money by reducing landfill costs, reducing methane emissions, creating a valuable soil amendment and reducing water pollution that can occur with open-air composting piles,” John Culpepper, NCS/CTT director of facilities and sustainability. “The shortened retention time and mechanized rotation make large-scale composting much more streamlined.”

The estimated cost of one composting machine is around $30,000, plus $10,000 for the shipping container. Culpepper estimates the system pays for itself in five to eight years, due to cost savings from tipping fees and the value of finished compost. The composters offset about nine metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually — the equivalent of removing two vehicles from the road.

Read the full article in Business Journal News Network.