ICAW 2024 News Slider
May 8, 2024

2024 International Compost Awareness Week

International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) was created by the Compost Council of Canada in 1995, and shortly after the U.S. Composting Council became involved, bringing ICAW to the United States. Now a world-wide program taking place the first week of every May, ICAW brings awareness to the benefits of organics recycling, or composting, and the many uses for finished compost.

What is compost?

Compost is a soil amendment that has been processed in a way that kills off any pathogens (disease causing organisms) and weed seeds and stabilizes nutrients that help with plant growth. Organic materials like grass clippings, leaves, garden trimmings, woodchips, fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and eggshells can be composted, ultimately making them materials that can be kept from going to the Authority’s Regional Landfill.

How does compost help the environment?

Composting does so much more than keep materials out of the Regional Landfill. By composting we can:

  • Decrease the amount of methane entering the atmosphere. Methane is produced through the breaking down of organic materials in environments like landfills and is one of the most harmful greenhouse gases. By composting your organic waste, you can help cut down on the amount of organics in the Regional Landfill that end up producing methane. Even though the Authority has measures in place to capture the methane coming out of the landfill, it would still be better for less methane to be produced in the first place!
  • Restore the health of soil. Soil has the ability to trap carbon dioxide gas, and by adding compost into the soil it can trap even more, acting as a “carbon bank”. In addition, compost returns nutrients to the soil and can improve its ability to hold water, reducing the risk of drought.
  • Grow plants bigger and stronger. Adding nutrients back into the soil and improving soil structure creates ideal growth conditions for plants like trees, flowers and fruits and vegetables. The addition of microbes and bacteria found in compost also reduces the need to use chemical pesticides and fertilizer, keeping the soil even healthier.

Compost at home!

There are a few different methods of at home composting. Whether you’re placing your organics in a pile, a tumbler bin, or a standing bin, you will need to make sure you are using a proper balance of materials. All types of composting require a mix of carbon-rich materials (browns like dried leaves, plain cardboard, and plain woodchips), nitrogen rich materials (greens like fruit and vegetable scraps, grass clippings and eggshells), water and air. Items to avoid adding to your compost pile or bin include meat, dairy products, pesticide treated green waste and pet waste. Once you find the mix that works for your materials, you’ll be composting in no time!

Compost with the Authority!

The Authority accepts green waste from residents in Oneida and Herkimer Counties and turns it into yard waste compost that is certified by the US Composting Council under its Seal of Testing Assurance Program as consistent, high-quality compost. This certification requires quarterly sampling and testing of the compost to remain in the program. Green waste that is brought to the Authority is composted through a process called windrow composting and three to four months later, the compost is fully cured and is ready to be sold back to the community!

Compost is available at the Authority’s Utica and Rome facilities. The Authority’s Utica facility is located at 80 Leland Ave Extension and is open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and Saturday 7am-2pm. The Authority’s Rome facility is located at 575 Perimeter Road and is open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and Saturday 8am-12pm. The bagged price for compost is $2 per bag or 3 bags for $5 and the pick-up truck load price is $15 or $20 for large pick-up trucks. Bulk loads are available at the Authority’s Utica facility Monday-Friday 8am-4pm only and are $15 per cubic yard.

For any questions on composting and Authority compost, please contact the Authority at 315-733-1224 or ohswa@ohswa.org. More information can also be found at www.ohswa.org or on the Authority’s Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages.