Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Forget It Jake, It's Baltimore

 The Balmer Sun, Federal grant to support compost and food scrap sites at Baltimore universities

Baltimore City will spend a federal grant on new food scrap drop-off locations at universities.

The Department of Public Works received a $264,840 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the pilot programs designed to reduce and divert food waste from landfills and incineration.

The drop-off sites will be at the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland Baltimore, and Loyola University Maryland.

The goal of the program is to increase access to compost for agricultural producers, improve soil quality, and divert food waste from landfills, according to a news release Tuesday from the Department of Public Works.

The drop-off site at Hopkins’ Homewood Campus on Bowman Drive behind Mudd Hall will be open Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. while its site at 1651 E. Jefferson St. will be open Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

At the University of Maryland Baltimore, drop-off sites will be open at the campus center at 621 W.Lombard St. on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and at the community engagement center at 16 S. Poppleton St. on Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Loyola University Maryland will open an offseason drop-off site at the Govans Farmers Market at 5104 York Road, where it hosts a drop-off site during the summer months.

The programs are funded by a two-year grant expiring in June 2025, according to the release, and the grant will also give $10,000 to nonprofits 4MyCity and Bmore Community Food to purchase recycled cardboard boxes and compostable food bags.

I'm a little curious about how the $265k will actually be spent. Staff salaries for the collection stations? That would buy a lot of interns, assuming interns would be interested in collecting food waste. Site rentals, materials for storage? 

Of course, there are other uses for composting. As the Peacock reported, Earth Day co-founder killed, composted girlfriend "Ira Einhorn was on stage hosting the first Earth Day event at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on April 22, 1970. Seven years later, police raided his closet and found the "composted" body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk."

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