Danimer Scientific Applauds Newly Launched Composting Pilot Program in Jacksonville, Florida
9 March 2023
Danimer Scientific, Inc. applauds the City of Jacksonville’s recent launch of a six-month pilot program to provide organics recycling services to restaurants in the Riverside and Avondale areas of Jacksonville. The city is partnering with local compost operator Sunshine Organics and Compost, doing business in Jacksonvillle as Compost Jax.
In celebration of National Biobased Products Day on March 8, Danimer encourages governments of every level to consider the positive impact that composting programs can have on reducing waste and preserving land and water environments.
“We commend the City of Jacksonville for initiating this pilot program,” said Stephen Croskrey, CEO of Danimer Scientific. “As our society transitions from petroleum-based plastics to biobased alternatives, companies like Sunshine Organics and Compost will enable us to compost these products and greatly increase organic recycling rates in cities like Jacksonville. We hope this program will be the start of a larger citywide initiative that serves as a model for other communities across the region, and we challenge governments across the country to continue incentivizing the use of compostable bioplastics, which can make the impact of composting programs even more substantial.”
Restaurants participating in the program, which launched March 1, will receive initial training on proper diversion procedures, then have their food waste collected weekly by the city for six months and delivered to the Sunshine Organics and Compost composting facility. The food residues will be converted to a nutrient-rich compost that can be used to naturally replenish soils and grow more food.
Almost all of Northeast Florida’s food waste currently goes to landfills, representing between 20 and 40 percent of total municipal solid waste. When organic waste breaks down in this type of environment, it creates methane gases that pose a risk of fire and can contribute to global climate change. In contrast, industrial composting provides a way to process food waste, yard waste and other organic residues in an environmentally sustainable manner, potentially extending the life of landfills by decades.
“We’re grateful to the City of Jacksonville for supporting this pilot program, which we ultimately hope to refine and expand citywide,” said Mike Kelcourse, owner of Sunshine Organics and Compost. “Industrial composting is a viable option for lowering greenhouse emissions by reducing organic waste that goes to landfills and avoiding new landfill construction. But it can only reach its full potential through local support and the proper infrastructure to grow.”
National Biobased Products Day, established in 2023 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is intended to raise awareness of biobased products, along with highlighting their benefits and contributions to the U.S. economy.
Sunshine Organics and Compost is licensed to process food and yard waste, and will accept certified industrially compostable products, which are largely biobased, making it unique among composting operations in the Jacksonville area. Danimer Scientific-produced Nodax® PHA is uniquely suited for food packaging applications because it is FDA approved for food contact and can be composted without creating contamination.