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Innovation & Job News

Niche Recycling brings composting dumpster, waste management systems to Navy Yard

When Mayor Michael Nutter unveiled 500 Big Belly solar garbage compactors all over the city in April 2009, there was skepticism as to the effectiveness of this new technology. But when this test run was complete and the Philly Throws Green case study was released in June, city officials found the compactors would save over $1.5 million in waste collection man-hours per year. The city hopes its newest garbage-related investment in composting will yield the same results.

In an effort to conduct a real-world test of its effectiveness, the city of Philadelphia has granted $18,700 to Niche Recycling for one of its composting "Bio Bins." By trapping in natural gasses released from food waste using a sealed bin, a recirculating air system and wood chips, Bio Bins break down food waste so that fewer collections are needed.

"With food waste, you typically have three days before you start to get anaerobic conditions and smell," says Niche Recycling founder Maurice Sampson II. "With Bio Bins, you can handle this on-site. There is a tremendous savings to not have to collect every other day and, unlike a typical composting operation, we can use normal garbage trucks."

The grant comes as part of the Greenworks Pilot Energy Technology (G-PET) program, which is funded through the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. With the exposure of this project and the recent opening of the Wilmington Organic Recycling Center, Sampson hopes to offer a full composting service that will give him a competitive advantage over trash collectors.

"We are very proud to be selected for this grant that is about commercialization, so that we can test it and find out what the criteria are," says Sampson. "Composting is not something we typically think of in America but oh my goodness, it is going to make such a difference."

Source: Maurice Sampson II, Niche Recycling
Writer: John Steele
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