American Biogas Council and US Composting Council Join Forces

Associations sign MOU aimed at accelerating organics recycling growth.

January 9, 2013
Waste Today Staff
Association Activities

The American Biogas Council (ABC) and the U.S. Composting Council (USCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which the organizations say has been created to accelerate the growth of the organics recycling industry.

According to a joint announcement, combined the organizations represent more than 900 organizations.

“Organic material is a valuable resource and should be treated as such,” says Michael Virga, executive director of the USCC. “Federal, state and local policy should reflect this fact and facilitate the handling of organic material according to its highest and best use.”

According to the associations, composting and biogas systems both use natural processes that yield a variety of saleable products from the organic materials fed into them. Both processes reduce greenhouse gas emissions, recover valuable soil-nutrients and reduce the need for additional landfill or incineration capacity. Biogas systems produce a renewable substitute for natural gas and yields nutrient-rich residuals that the associations say can be naturally processed into compost or fertilizer products.

In a joint press release, the USCC and ABC say that in addition to reducing water pollution, improving soil health and stimulating plant growth, the organics recycling industry employs more people per ton of material than landfill disposal or incineration. “However, today, the political and regulatory infrastructures do not support these fundamental, natural, and energy-producing processes that are essential to the economic, environmental and social needs of a sustainable community,” the press release states.

“We can create thousands of U.S. projects and jobs if as a society we all get smarter about how to use our food residuals, yard clippings, wastewater sludge and all the organic material we put into our trash every day,” says Patrick Serfass, ABC’ executive director. “Three key steps will get us there: educating leaders and citizens about biogas system and composting benefits, leveling the playing field with smart policies and removing unnecessary barriers to project development.”