Greenbelt Goes Green

Nestled in the heart of Prince George’s County, Maryland, lies the City of Greenbelt where the “green” in its name does not go unnoticed. This Sustainable Maryland certified city takes pride in building a cleaner, moreeco-friendly society. One such sustainable effort is reducing electricity consumption by replacing it with renewable energy sources. The City also maintains public outdoor spaces and parks, is extremely walkable, and continues to make  sustainable transit options more accessible with bike lanes and more bus stops. The City has also been investing in waste reduction.

After adding a new Compost Outpost® and introducing a curbside composting program to residents earlier this year, this city is now a prime example of how quickly and efficiently a closed loop system can be established. The goal, to collectively reduce the City’s carbon footprint.

Community Clean-up

The Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Greenbelt government orchestrated a clean-up for an unused portion of land, near Trinity Assembly of God, that was prone to illegal dumping. The Greenbelt Advisory Committee on Environmental Sustainability (ACES), local high school students and Compost Crew staff worked shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Emmett Jordan who readily grabbed some gloves and got to work! Together, we rid the forested area of trash, removed pesky vines and over 100 abandoned tires.

Curbside Food Scrap Service

The City of Greenbelt introduced curbside food waste collection for residents in February 2024. Compost Crew, the City of Greenbelt, and the Trinity Assembly of God worked together to seek funding for the pilot through a grant from the USDA. 

Instead of sending food waste to local landfills, residents of Greenbelt are able to place items such as fruit scraps, vegetable scraps, meat and bones into a dedicated bin for weekly collection. The City will cover the cost of the service for up to 18 months, for residents receiving trash and recycling services from the City. 

Collection for this pilot program began in mid-February. The City and its partners plan to accept more residents and re-open registration in August of 2024, with a growing waitlist of community members eager to join the program.

Businesses and organizations are susceptible to significant amounts of waste. So, the City is looking to reduce waste generated from its residents, government facilities and even any unused food from the Trinity Assembly of God’s cold storage from the PG County FEC food recovery initiatives. These scraps now get rescued and taken to a composting site to be processed into compost instead of emitting methane in local landfill.

Compost Outpost 

The unused portion of the Trinity Assembly of God’s property, now clear of debris, was ready to hold more purpose in the community rather than being a dumping ground.

After winning a grant from the USDA, the City of Greenbelt began construction of a Compost Outpost in partnership with Compost Crew with help from community organizations including the Prince Geroge’s County Soil Conservation District.

Having a distributed composting site within City limits shortens hauling distances between the doorsteps of City of Greenbelt residents and where their food scraps are processed. Here, Compost Crew removes any inorganic contaminants, then mixes locally-sourced wood chips, hay and leaves with the food scraps to create a nutrient-rich soil amendment. The finished compost will be used on the City’s community gardens, another example of its commitment to care for the green spaces.

To collect, distribute, process and use the finished product all within City limits makes this a wonderful example of a closed loop system! 

Interested in composting in the City of Greenbelt? Learn more here.