Chamber Connections BLOG
Chamber Connections BLOG
The Town of Warren and proponents of a composting facility on Birch Swamp Road will be holding a public information session on Wednesday, November 8 at 6:30 PM, at Hope and Main, 691 Main Street in Warren. The purpose of the session is to provide an update on the proposal to turn the Town’s existing leaf and yard waste compost operation into a facility that mixes food and yard waste into finished compost. This would reduce the amount of waste being sent to the Central Landfill in Johnston, and help the Town reduce the otherwise increasing cost of waste disposal. The proposed location is next to the Warren Transfer Station and behind the Town’s Department of Public Works buildings on Birch Swamp Road.
The Compost Plant approached Town officials two years ago with a preliminary proposal for the site. The Town Council expressed interest in the potential, environmental as well as financial, benefits for the Town, and subsequently approved a one-year lease allowing The Compost Plant to use the site to bag and distribute its Rhody Gold soil line, but did not allow any composting. This lease period enabled the company to fund extensive feasibility and site suitability investigations, including in particular environmental conditions.
“The Council was very clear that, although it supports the concept, it will not approve actual food waste composting at the site until the results of the investigations are available AND the public has had full opportunity to review and comment on that information, and to raise other concerns,” said Town Manager Jan Reitsma. “This public-private partnership could be very beneficial, but it will need public support to be successful.”
The next step is for the Town and The Compost Plant to submit an application to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) for a brownfield development grant. This grant would fund the formal closure of the former landfill site (Plat 22, Lot 39) in accordance with a closure plan that was approved by the State years ago, but never implemented. The additional protective measures are a condition for any proposed future use of the site.
The public meeting will provide the opportunity for Warren residents to see a preliminary schematic of proposed site improvements for the former landfill site, to learn more about The Compost Plant and its goal of improving the compost operation at the site, and to provide feedback.
“This public-private partnership would bring a first-of-its-kind green technology to Warren, and serve as a composting model for other Rhode Island communities. Our proposal fits with the current composting use of the site, and would offer the Town a cost savings with managing Warren’s leaf and yard material. We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Town of Warren and to share our preliminary plans with Warren residents, ensuring this is a win-win public-private partnership,” said Leo Pollock, Co-founder of The Compost Plant.
The public information session will be held at Hope & Main (691 Main Street, Warren, RI) on Wednesday, November 8th at 6:30 pm. Town Manager Reitsma will introduce the proposal and its context, followed by a presentation of the newly available information and updated plans, and time for public discussion.
ABOUT THE COMPOST PLANT:
The Compost Plant was founded in 2013 with the mission of turning food scraps and organics into compost and soil mixes that help gardeners and farmers grow more local food. The Compost Plant provides a customized food scrap collection service for commercial and industrial customers and in 2017 launched a retail line of compost and soil blends under the Rhody GoldTM label. The Compost Plant believe more local food means healthier communities...and we believe it all starts with healthy soil.