In Brunswick, we practice organics recycling. That includes both composting and anaerobic digestion. Both processes produce high quality compost, but the digestion process also recovers some of the gasses that are produced as a by-product.

The subcommittee on organics within the Recycling and Sustainability Committee has identified, and the town has implemented, a three-pronged approach to managing organics that is unmatched in our local area. Other towns do parts of the program we have assembled, but not all three at once.

For curbside pickup, there are two options, both of which compost what they collect. One is Garbage to Garden (332-0277). They offer weekly pickups and will also deliver a bag of compost with each pickup, if requested. They pick up your 5-gallon pail and leave a clean one. They will also let you pay quarterly and by check, as well as credit card. G2G also takes, napkins, facial tissues, paper towels, and shredded paper. “If it’s alive, or ever was alive, we can compost it.”

The other option is We Compost It (786-0600). They also pick up weekly, and their rates are bit lower, but they do not leave a clean can each week (you need to clean it yourself), and you need to drive to a location in Topsham in order to get a 5-gallon pail of compost (one pail per visit). They can only take payment by credit card. They also take a variety of materials, but not shredded paper.

Both are reputable companies, and your selection will be made on the strength of how much you’re willing to pay vs. how much service you wish to have, and whether you can fully utilize the compost on a regular basis.

The second “tine” of our three-pronged approach is backyard composting. There are any number of ways to do that, from simply making a pile in the back yard someplace, to using a commercially available composting system. Once you have the bin, there is no cost to this at all, and you get excellent compost. My bin gives me about 40 gallons/year with very little maintenance.

The third “tine” of the program is two newly installed bins next to the leaf drop on Industry Road at the Public works site. This is also free for residents of Brunswick to use by simply dumping a pail of kitchen scraps into one of the bins. The bins are then emptied by Agri-Cycle, a commercial organics recycler, who send it to an anaerobic digester. You need to deliver your scraps to the bin with this option; you do need to be mindful of what they can take; and you do need to clean your own pail, but there is no charge for the service.

With all of those options, it’s time to start working on organics!

Harry Hopcraft is a member of the Brunswick Recycling and Sustainability Committee.

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