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Lebanon Expands Municipal Compost Program To Upper Valley Residents

Britta Greene

The city of Lebanon is expanding its compost program to Upper Valley residents that use its landfill. The facility is open to 23 N.H. and Vt. communities.

It starts January 4th, and will be one of the few municipal-run compost programs in the state.

Marc Morgan is Lebanon's solid waste manager. He says he hopes people who live in apartments or condos will take advantage of the program.

“The idea behind this is to provide a food scrap diversion option for those who for whatever reason can’t do backyard composting,” he said.

In early 2020, Lebanon piloted a food scrap program with a handful of families, and successfully diverted nearly one ton of food waste from the city landfill.

“Over the years, we’ve had several residents ask for this service,” Morgan said. There are local companies that pick up compost, but this will be the first time an option for individuals to drop it off themselves at the landfill is available.

To use the municipal compost program, residents need to purchase a compost permit for the year at a cost of $15-16, and put it on their pail or bucket. Morgan asks that residents drop off their food scraps in a compostable bag.

“It’s an operational decision to help the program be a bit less unpleasant,” he said. The bags will help prevent the food waste from freezing in the food scrap dumpster, and they help with odors in the summer months.

Morgan says the compost will be used onsite at the solid waste facility.  

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Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.

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