The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis and Lambert-St. Louis International Airport are both kicking off new composting programs, rallying their respective member restaurants to dispose of their food waste in a sustainable way.
Downtown, Project Compost is a two-year pilot program including 17 estab-lishments along Washington Avenue. President Maggie Campbell estimates that over 3,000 tons of food waste will be composted over the next two years with the help of the Solid Waste Management District and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. As the composting process produces soil from the food waste, the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis buys back that soil and uses it to fertilize the potted plants that beautify Downtown streets. Already, the program is gaining followers and paving the way for other communities to enact similar programs.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is getting in on the composting action, too—also in partnership with the SWMD and the DNR. Operating on a $15,000 grant, most of which was used to purchase proper receptacles for food scraps, the airport’s three-month trial program collects the waste from four of its major restaurants (accounting for 30 percent of Lambert’s food waste) and sends it off for composting. Airport officials expect the program to expand after the trial period and some initial tweaking, adding to the facility’s already substantive recycling efforts for coffee grounds, paper, cans and plastics.