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Howard County Compost Facility Earns Honor Award from ACEC Maryland

Hunt Valley, Maryland (25 February 2022)—The American Council of Engineering Companies/Maryland recognized the Howard County Compost Facility at Alpha Ridge Landfill with an Engineering Excellence Award at their banquet held in Baltimore on 17 February 2022. The project was designed by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC (EA), a leading provider of interdisciplinary environmental services. Located at the Alpha Ridge Landfill, the new facility has proven the economic, operational, and sustainable viability of processing food waste on a large scale.

“Howard County is committed to promoting green infrastructure and sustainable programs,” said EA Vice President Mark Gutberlet, P.E., BCEE. “Projects like the compost facility are setting a new standard for organics diversion and processing.”

EA prepared construction documents for the 15-acre facility, including primary composting and secondary curing areas, a feedstock receiving enclosure for material receipt and grinding, process piping for potable water and runoff from composting process, access roads, stormwater management, and erosion and sediment control.

When initiated in 2013, the project called for a significant investment in cutting-edge technology that processes yard trim, food scraps, and manure into a soil amendment that is sold to residents, businesses, and used on government campuses. The County’s goal was to increase residential curbside collection of food scraps and food waste diversion from public schools. Through their Feed the Green Bin program, 6 of their 15 existing trash and recycling zones can now compost food scraps through residential curbside pickup, with plans to expand County-wide. In 2021, more than 15,000 tons of organic waste was diverted from landfilling.

“Not only can the Howard County Compost Facility generate cost savings in waste management, but it also creates additional value for the community such as a reduction in greenhouse gas by decreasing landfill emissions and keeping the material local, avoiding emissions impacts associated with waste transportation,” said EA Project Manager Regina Cagle Irr, P.E. “Processing generates a beneficial soil amendment that can reduce the need for application of fertilizers, lessen erosion, and improve water retention in soils.”

Among the few large-scale food waste composting facilities on the East Coast, the Compost Facility at Alpha Ridge Landfill now serves as a roadmap for other jurisdictions as they look for alternative municipal solid waste management strategies and revenue streams.

In 2021, the project was also recognized by the County Engineers Association of Maryland.

About EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC

EA is a 100% employee-owned public benefit corporation that provides environmental, compliance, natural resources, and infrastructure engineering and management solutions to a wide range of public and private sector clients. Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, EA employs more than 575 professionals through a network of 26 commercial offices across the continental United States, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam. In business for more than 48 years, EA has earned an outstanding reputation for technical expertise, responsive service, and judicious use of client resources. For more information about EA, visit www.eaest.com

Amy Lambert
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC
225 Schilling Circle, Suite 400
Hunt Valley, Maryland 21031


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