This is a fantastic question with a very complex answer!
Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have finished compost available for agricultural use. We hope to have one available in the near future but currently, we are not there yet. The reason being, we work in partnership with the Prairie Green Landfill to process the organic waste at their industrial compost site. This relationship enables us to accept things like meat, bones, dairy, and compostable packaging. In exchange, they use the cured compost in the landfill management process to keep trash from blowing away at the end of each day. Furthermore, the finished compost acts as a biofilter to capture greenhouse gases that the landfill emits. Since topsoil is a non-renewable resource using finished compost is a more responsible and affordable solution.
Now I am sure you are already thinking, “What?! It just goes into the landfill after all that!”. Yes, but the difference is that when you throw away organic waste in a plastic bag and it is compacted into the landfill mound there is no oxygen present. This results in the waste becoming septic and releasing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. This gets released over time and literally has to be pumped out of the mound by vacuum wells for decades after it has been capped with green space. By processing the organic waste separately this problem doesn’t exist because healthy microorganisms and insects decompose the organic materials as nature intended!
So here is our dilemma, if our city was composting more we would have more topsoil available and less trash to cover. Furthermore, due to the level of contamination from things like styrofoam, plastic bags, and non-compostable coffee cups which results in microplastics and potential toxins, the finished compost isn’t suitable for agricultural purposes. As composting becomes more mainstream and the general public gets more educated on what is and isn’t compostable the finished product will become purer.
Given the size of our small operation, this is our best option to start making a difference and getting the community thinking and learning. As we grow, we are looking at ways we can handle the processing of our collections and have compost available for anyone who desires it. We are taking small steps today to make bigger changes in the very near future.
No doubt not a simple answer but this is why we do what we do. We see the change that must occur and this is just the beginning.