The process of turning manures, food scraps, leaves and other organic materials into enriched soil has been in practice for as long as agriculture itself. Large scale commercial composting, however, is a relatively recent endeavor in this country. Vermont’s Green Mountain Compost has been among the leaders in this field for nearly a quarter of a century.
This endeavor began in 1987 as a small project started in a fertile area of Burlington, VT known as The Intervale by employees of what was then a new company called Gardener’s Supply. Will Raap, the Gardener’s Supply founder, formed the Intervale Foundation a few years later with the mission of restoring the once prosperous farmland of the Intervale and growing the local food economy. The composting operation, dubbed Intervale Compost Products, slowly shifted from a small mobile project enriching various Intervale fields with Burlington leaf and yard waste to setting its roots into 10 acres of land and bringing in ever more diverse feedstocks.
For two decades, Intervale Compost Products continued to grow. Early boosts came from Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, which delivered ice cream production waste at the rate of a million gallons per year. Food scrap collection expanded throughout the city, then the county, and now it’s a normal occurrence to see compost diversion in local restaurants, supermarkets, and cafeterias.
Following regulatory changes in 2008, it became clear that Intervale Compost Products could no longer operate in its Intervale location. Recognizing the importance of continuing the diversion of leaves and other organic materials from the landfill, the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) stepped in and took over operations.
In 2011, CSWD closed the doors on the Burlington site and constructed a brand new, state-of-the-art composting facility eight miles west in Williston, Vermont.
In early 2012 we launched the new Green Mountain Compost brand and name to reflect all the progress we’ve made with the new facility, nestled in the foothills of the scenic Green Mountains.
Sales have continued to grow as more people from Chittenden County, Vermont, New England, and the world (we occasionally get orders from as far away as the Middle East!) have begun to recognize the value of adding compost to gardens, lawns, and farms. As we grow, Green Mountain Compost will enable even more schools, businesses, and households to divert an increasing volume of valuable compostable material from the landfill.
We’re excited about all the changes we’ve made, and we’re eager to have our community and customers benefit from the even better compost and other soil products we’re producing at our new facility — all while using half the energy, space and time.
Now that’s progress!