Organics
We transform traditional organic waste streams including food scraps, wood ash, paper mill by-products and biosolids into nutrient rich earthlife® soil amendments and now renewable energy. In 2013, Casella recycled over 400,000 tons of organic materials.

Organics recycling is nature's original form of recycling, and the practice is as old as life on earth.

Within the municipal solid waste (MSW) stream, organics include food scraps, yard debris, and soiled paper. Beyond the MSW stream, the category includes things like wastewater treatment biosolids, food manufacturing by-products, animal manures, paper mill residues, wood ash, and other mineral residuals. We work to recycle these materials and return their value to the soil through composting, anaerobic digestion, land application, and other methods.

Composting:
Our Hawk Ridge Compost Facility in Unity, ME produces compost from wastewater treatment plant biosolids and other organic residues. In 2013, the facility composted over 40,000 tons of inputs into high quality earthlife® brand products, which help to replenish soil nutrients and soil structure on cropland and landscapes throughout the northeast.
Anaerobic Digestion:
We are a proud partner of AGreen Energy LLC, which builds and operates anaerobic digesters on dairy farms in New England. In 2013, as operator of the AGreen facility at Jordan Farm in Rutland, MA, we digested cow manure and roughly 17,000 tons of liquid food processing residuals, to produce over 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity and over 2 million gallons of fertilizer for the farm's crop land. This year, through our role in BGreen Energy LLC, we began operating a 2nd digester at Barstow's Longview Farm in South Hadley, MA.
Alkaline Stabilization:
Our new Grasslands facility in Chateaugay, NY uses an innovative alkaline stabilization technology to prepare wastewater treatment solids for agricultural land application. The facility serves municipal customers in NY, VT, and Canada. At full capacity it will process 50,000 tons per year, allowing valuable soil nutrients to be safely returned to local cropland.
Land Application:
Certain organic residuals require no further processing before they are returned to agricultural land for their nutrient value. For example, one of our customers is a brewery in upstate New York whose residuals are already fit for use on crop soils, and need only one of our project managers to match them up with an appropriate field for spreading each year.
earthlife® Products
By applying innovative science and technology, we transform organic residuals into value added products suited for the landscape, horticultural, and agricultural markets, which we sell under our earthlife® brand name. The earthlife brand encompasses over 40 unique products and blends suited to a wide variety of applications designed to improve soil health and productivity. For example, earthlife compost is widely used by transportation departments along roadways to enhance slope stabilization, control erosion, and support healthy vegetation growth. Our Fertilimer product is preferred by farmers to optimize pH, improve soil nutrient levels, and enhance crop yields. And our Nutri-Mulch product has a strong following among landscapers and garden supply companies.
Did You Know?
40% of food in the United States goes uneaten. This is the equivalent to throwing away $165 billion each year!
Food waste makes up 20% of the municipal waste stream. It's the next frontier in recycling.
Food Scraps

We started collecting food scraps from restaurants and grocery stores in Burlington, VT in 1999. Today we are collecting roughly 3,000 tons per year of food scraps for recycling, servicing nearly 200 customers in select markets in Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York. In the coming years we intend to grow this line of business.

Recently, two states within our operating footprint - Vermont and Massachusetts - passed new rules requiring the diversion of food waste from disposal. In both states, we participated throughout the rulemaking process, serving on advisory panels, submitting data and comments, and providing general support to ensure the rules were crafted in a practical and sustainable manner.

In addition to supporting new public policy mandating organics recycling, we have been actively evaluating and developing economical strategies for collecting and diverting food scraps. We encourage our customers to measure their food waste and find ways to waste less and donate more. Then we work to collect and capture the nutrient and energy value of whatever is leftover.

At the University of Vermont, facilities staff place their source separated organics into wheeled 32- or 64-gallon carts and we deliver the material to a local compost facility. This is the type of service most of our commercial food scraps customers receive.
This year, a grocery store in Massachusetts began grinding its food scraps into a liquid feedstock perfect for producing energy and fertilizer in the Jordan Farm anaerobic digester that we operate. Using a grinding station in the back of the store, and a slurry storage tank next to the loading dock, the store is recycling food scraps into valuable soil nutrients and renewable energy. We deliver the slurry to the digester.
In Tompkins County, New York we are part of a trial project that offers curbside composting service to 1,200 homes in and around the City of Ithaca. The program provides each household with educational materials, a kitchen caddy, and a 14-gallon wheeled cart. We provide weekly pick-up and take the material to a local composter.

In Rutland, Vermont we are preparing to break ground on a pilot facility that will process food scraps into an energy-rich feedstock for delivery to Cow Power farms. The Cow Power program supports renewable energy and local agriculture by paying a premium rate to farmers who produce electricity using on-farm anaerobic digesters. The food scraps grinding project will be supported by a grant from the Clean Energy Development Fund and Green Mountain Power.

Learn more about our Sustainability Initiatives
Capturing value from waste through innovative resource solutions.
Our comprehensive Resource Solutions enable us to apply our knowledge and experience in recycling, collection, organics, energy and landfills to create economic and environmental value for our customers and our communities. Click here to download the PDF version of our 2014 Sustainability Report
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