ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County’s Department of Public Works’ (DPW) Bureau of Environmental Services has announced that for the second month in a row, its HoCoGro compost production and sales at the County’s Alpha Ridge Landfill (ARL) Composting Facility have hit record highs. In both March and April of this year, retail and wholesale customers purchased more than 3,100 cubic yards of HoCoGro compost produced at the Landfill each month. Historically, monthly average sales are around 1,000 cubic yards.
My administration is committed to creating a clean and sustainable environment in Howard County through the implementation of programs that promote green infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In line with our environmental goals, our Bureau of Environmental Services’ HoCoGro program encourages residents to buy and utilize this locally produced product, in turn, helping reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and use of chemical fertilizers.
The County began producing HoCoGro compost at ARL in 2013 and just last year, the Bureau’s HoCoGro compost was awarded the US Composting Council’s “Seal of Testing Assurance” (STA). This certification signifies that the HoCoGro compost produced at ARL meets all federal, state and local regulations and permitting to which the STA Certified Compost products are subject. The product is sold in bulk, not in bags, and is $23.00 per cubic yard (price includes sales tax); however, customers who purchase 50 cubic yards or more per year can qualify for wholesale pricing.
“We have set the qualification for the wholesale rate to attract and support local businesses such as landscapers, growers and nurseries,” said Mark DeLuca, DPW Deputy Director. “The need for compost is growing as more users are discovering the water quality and soil characteristic improvements that incorporating compost into soil provides.”
In addition to HoCoGro compost, the Bureau also sells HoCoGro mulch and blended topsoil. The blended topsoil is a mix of local soils and HoCoGro Compost. By blending compost into the topsoil, the organic matter content in the soil is raised and billions of soil enhancing microbes are added. The compost addition also makes the product more workable and able to retain moisture. Blended topsoil is ready for planting and seeding or for use in raised beds
For more information about HoCoGro compost, HoCoGro mulch and blended topsoil, visit the Bureau’s “WoodWaste Area” website or call 410-313-6444.