Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Delaware's first community composting site opens

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

10 households have already signed up to contribute to the state’s first community composter in New Castle County’s Talley Day Park in North Wilmington.

The smell proof, rodent proof composting bins can handle organic waste from up to 50 individuals.

That includes browns (yard waste) and greens (uncooked food scraps).

Marci Muskin is one of the first site members. She says she joined because it's good for the environment and the community.

“I eat greens every day so it’s easy enough to freeze it, not let it go bad. And then it comes here and biodegrades. The microbes eat it as it goes along. And you get a nice output.”

Composting reduces the amount of waste headed to landfills, and creates a helpful organic soil additive.

The Delaware Community Composting Initiative launched the project to help build up the state’s composting infrastructure and make it more accessible.

New Castle County Councilmember and Plastic Free Delaware co-founder Dee Durham says community composters offer both social and educational aspects to composting.

“Some people can’t have a backyard composter, maybe they live in an apartment or something like that. Or they just don’t want to bother. But they might like the social aspect of doing this together with people. And learning from other people, and being a part of a group working on a project together.”

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

They’re looking to expand the program statewide and help more Delawareans discover the benefits of composting.

“We really strive to have a lot of educational signage around the bins so that people can learn about what's happening. And then maybe take some of that back to their own homes. Some people are from around here, some are not. So we really hope that helps spur some education, creativity, and innovation,” explained DCCI Program Director Brigid Gregory.

While Talley Day Park is home to the state’s first community composting bin, it won’t be the last.

Gregory says they’re currently working to open two more composting sites at a community garden in Middletown called The Nest, and at Wilmington Friends High School.

The composting infrastructure at The Nest is built - they’re now working on attaining the proper permits needed to launch the site.

Construction for the Wilmington Friends composting site is planned for fall 2023.

Muskin says with all the food waste produced at schools, they’re great places for composting bins.

“And there are also a lot of schools that have gardens. I know Sprnger Middle school has a garden in the back. It would be wonderful if they had a compost bin. And then kids could get used to it at an early age. And learn that recycling is good and composting is good,” she said.

Interested site partners, and residents hoping to join a community composting site, can visit PlasticFreeDelaware.orgfor more information.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021.