Composting program expands in the new year

By SOPHIE GORMAN ORIANI — The time has finally come: The City of Hyattsville has introduced a citywide compost pickup.

When Hyattsville launched a pilot compost pickup program in 2015, it proved immediately popular. The program had a waiting list, and many residents expressed a desire to have the program become available to everyone in the city.

Now, the program will be available to all of Hyattsville’s residential addresses. Commercial and multi-family properties are not included.

Residents participating in this voluntary program provide their own compost bins. (Residents who participated in the pilot program can keep the bins the city originally provided.)

The five-gallon bucket provided to Hyattsville residents during the pilot compost pickup program.

The city’s composting page recommends using biodegradable bags in kitchen pails to collect food scraps and using a bin with a latching lid to put the food scraps out on the curb. The latching lid prevents animals from accessing the food scraps.

“If anyone is in need of a resolution, try composting!” wrote Danny Schaible, Ward 2 councilmember, in a post to the H.O.P.E. (Hyattsville Organization for a Positive Environment) group email list.

The collected waste will be taken to the Prince George’s Organics Composting Facility in Upper Marlboro, where it will be turned into Leafgro Gold and sold.

Since the composting facility is a commercial enterprise, it can handle many items that a backyard compost pile cannot. This means that participants in the program can add meat and bones, dairy products, and soiled pizza boxes to their fruit and vegetable scraps. Fats, oils and leftover grease can not be included, as they do not biodegrade. 

A full list of compostable items can be found on the city website

“I think [citywide compost pickup] is a great idea, because I am too busy to tend my own backyard compost heap, but I am not too busy to separate out my trash,” said Liam Cawley, who lives on Hamilton Street. 

The compost program’s first pickup was on Monday, Jan. 6, and regular collections will be on Mondays. Compost bins should be out on the curb by 6 a.m.

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