With over 8 million visitors annually, Ocean City has become one of the top vacation destinations on the East Coast. And with those high numbers of vacationers and locals alike, comes an exorbitant amount of trash and waste.
Insert the GO Green OC Compost Program. Started by Josh Chamberlain in 2018, a two week pilot program began with The Hobbit Restaurant and owner Garvey Heiderman. “We collected under 2,000 pounds of food waste and our data showed we diverted nearly 51% of food waste. We were in absolute shock.”
What Is The Go Green OC Compost Program?
“The Go Green OC Compost Program is powered by the tireless efforts of 99% volunteer support. Our collaboration with Ocean Compost, a forward-thinking for-profit business established in 2021, ensures efficient and effective management. While Go Green OC takes care of volunteer engagement, community outreach, and education, Ocean Compost manages the financial aspects and oversees the farm and equipment operations.”
How Does It Work?
“Every day, the Ocean Compost truck collects food waste from various locations in Ocean City, swapping out overflowing bins for clean ones. The waste is weighed and transported to a farm in Bishopville, where it undergoes rigorous quality checks, is blended with carbon-rich materials, and then piled for composting. Over time, this food waste transforms into nutritious soil, thanks to the hard work of our dedicated volunteers who maintain the farm and equipment.
In line with Maryland’s recent legislation, all establishments within a 30-mile radius of a compost facility must compost their food waste if they generate over 2 tons per week. Restaurants that partner with us receive in-house training, tutorial videos, and posters, along with complimentary compost bins and liners. We also give our composting partners a shoutout on our social media channels, which boast an annual reach of 200,000 impressions.”
Who is Participating?
An official announcement of the 2023 restaurant and establishments has yet to be made, however here are some of the ones returning to the program : The Hobbit Restaurant, Dough Roller 70th, Dough Roller 42nd, The Bonfire, Longboard Café, Real Raw Organics, Mother’s Cantina 28th Street, Innerbloom, and Bayside Skillet
How to Get Involved
The program, which is run by Go Green OC, Ocean Compost, and many volunteers works tirelessly year round to ensure that Ocean City is doing it’s part to keep the Earth around for our future. This go green initiative is always on the lookout for more volunteers. Rinsing out empty cans, spraying compost piles, light shoveling and hosing off equipment are just some of the light duties that volunteers can participate in to do their part. Volunteer hours are Monday-Friday 7am-12pm. Come spend an hour volunteering or make a day of it. “We will take all the amazing help we can get!”
What Does the Program Need?
“We need money. We rely on donations and sponsorships to fund our programs. Grants have been very competitive. 100% of our donations goes towards our programs and Go Green OC. Nobody on the Go Green OC board receives a salary. We are 100% volunteer based.
What The Future Holds
“We are transforming Ocean City into the first zero waste resort town in the United States. We also lead many more efforts like beach clean ups and we are converting events into zero waste like OC Bikefest. We have recycled nearly 100,000 aluminum cans over 3 years.”
For more information about the program or donating please visit Go” Green OC on Instagram @gogreenoc. For more information on volunteering please reach out on Instagram or complete this google form here.