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For Immediate Release: 8/30/2013

County’s Yard Trim Composting Facility Earns Coveted Certification Recognizing High Level of Environmental Management; Montgomery Facility Only Second in US to Have this Certification

The County’s Yard Trim Composting facility in Dickerson has received the coveted ISO 14001:2004 certification for its environmental management system from American Systems Registrar (ASR), an internationally accredited environmental management systems firm.

The certification confirms that the facility is operated in a manner that goes beyond merely ensuring compliance with environmental rules and regulations. It indicates that the facility operators and employees consistently consider the environmental aspects of their activities, identify and mitigate environmental impacts, and continuously strive to improve their environmental performance.

According to the US Composting Council and the Independent Association of Accredited Registrars (IAAR), Montgomery County’s Dickerson Yard Trim Composting Facility is only the second of its type in the US with an ISO 14001-certified environmental management system. The ISO14001:2004 standard is recognized in 159 countries as the industry standard for environmental management systems.

“I cannot think of a better way to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to environmental excellence in the operation of the Dickerson Yard Trim Composting facility than to receive independent certification through the rigorous ISO 14001:2004 standard,” said Bob Hoyt, director of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection.

A detailed audit performed by ASR showed that the facility demonstrated continuous improvement in the areas of environmental performance, regulatory compliance and pollution prevention, as well as effective contribution and interaction with the residents of the community -- represented by the Dickerson Area Facilities Implementation Group (DAFIG). The group contributed substantially to the process, working with the County to identify environmental aspects and impacts of site operations and was an early advocate of the 14001 process.

The 118-acre composting facility is owned by Montgomery County and operated by the Maryland Environmental Service (MES).

The County began composting yard trim at the facility in 1983. The program started with the composting of just leaves collected by the Department of Transportation's curbside leaf vacuuming program. Between 1989 and 1994, the program expanded to include grass.

Today, leaves and grass are collected from all single-family residences in the County as part of the weekly curbside recycling collection, and are also received from landscapers serving commercial and multi-family properties throughout the County.

Through an agreement with the Sugarloaf Citizens Association, the Compost Facility is limited to processing 77,000 tons of leaves and grass per year. Due to increased grasscycling and backyard composting efforts in the County, the facility has averaged 70,395 tons per year for the last seven years.

Program contact: Godfrey Ampadu, 240-777-6495 Godfrey.ampadu@montgomerycountymd.gov

 

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Release ID: 13-256
Media Contact: Bonnie Ayers 240-777-6507

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Last edited: 11/8/2010