County Compost Facility

What is Composting?
Composting is the process in which yard trimmings and certain food scraps are turned into natural soil additives for use on flower beds, lawns and gardens, and as potting soil for house plants. Composting speeds up the natural decay process with the final product of nutrient-rich material called mulch. When applied to your garden, lawn, trees, or shrubs, this mulch acts as a natural fertilizer that increases the ability of soil to absorb water and air, suppressing weed growth, decreasing erosion, and reducing the need to apply commercial soil additives.
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Applying Compost Materials
In most climates the compost is ready in 3 to 6 months when it becomes a dark crumbly material that is uniform in texture. Spread the compost in the garden, in flower beds, under shrubbery, in planters and flower boxes or in potted house plants.

Composting at Home
On a small scale, even at your own home, these trimmings and yard wastes can be gathered in a compost bin in a corner of your backyard. The pile should be turned every few weeks to circulate air and distribute moisture evenly. Don't be surprised by the heat of the pile or if you see worms, both are essential to the decomposition process.

Large Scale Composting
On a larger scale, leaves, tree trimmings, shrubbery clippings, branches and grass clippings can be brought to the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority for composting. The GLRA has devised a successful green waste composting operation.

Composting at the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority

The GLRA first opened its Compost Facility in 1991 in an effort to divert green waste from being put into the landfill. For the first 6 years of the operation, GLRA rented processing equipment through DEP grant funding to process the green waste it collected. The procedure involved piling green waste in long rows called windrows. After a few months of natural decomposition, windrows were turned and water was added when necessary to produce an average quality mulch.
Tub Grinder
In March 1997, through another DEP recycling grant, the GLRA was able to purchase a tub grinder to process the 2,300 tons of green waste collected each year. The grinder double grinds green waste which greatly enhances the quality of the mulch produced. Having the grinder available on a regular basis also makes the program more efficient.

In late 2004, through an Act 101 Section 902 DEP composting grant, the GLRA was able to purchase a new tub grinder to process all the green waste. A Morbark 1100 Tub Grinder was an efficient addition to GLRA's composting operations.

In December 2015, through another Act 101 Section 902 Recycling Program Grant, the GLRA purchased a new 2015 Morbark 1100 Tub Grinder, trading in the 2004 model.  
A rubber tire loader feeding the drum of an industrial tub grinder
Trommel Screen
In late 1998, the GLRA purchased a trommel screen through an Act 101 Section 902 Grant. The trommel screen adds to the quality of the mulch by separating the different sizes of the material being composted. The two final end products as a result of screening the composted material are a fine plant bedding material and a coarse wood mulch. The plant bedding and the wood mulch have both become extremely popular products marketed by the GLRA.
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Completing the Recycling Loop
Closing the recycling loop is an integral part of recycling. Putting recyclables into the recycling bin or bringing green waste to GLRA is just the first step in the recycling process. Completion of the loop requires that material to be processed and then put back out on the market for future use.

The GLRA's Composting Operation is a perfect example of completing the recycling loop. Green waste is taken out of the waste stream and put it through a natural decomposition process which results in a high-nutrient material. This final product is then marketed as plant bedding, thus the recycling loop is closed. Residents like to be involved in the process because they see how their waste is transformed into a useful product. This encourages residents to bring their green waste in for composting, and in turn they have access to a high quality plant bedding at a very low price, only $12 per cubic yard.