I reported back in March on the new Go Green initiative that has been adopted in Ocean City, Maryland thanks to two local guys, Justin Chamberlain and Garvey Heiderman. I felt it was time for an update to see the progress and growth of one of the top initiatives Ocean City has seen and give you a sneak peek into the actual process.
How OC Go Green Works
Like clockwork, two times a week, sometimes three now that it’s the summer season, the compost truck shows up in Bishopville, just a few miles outside of Ocean City to dump off its weekly haul. Backing into place, volunteers unload a truck full of 30 gallon compost bins that have been collected from various restaurants around Ocean City. Filled to the brim with orange peels from those famous Orange Crushes, crab shells (yes-crab shells can be composted!) from those relaxed family dinners, and every other compostable food you can imagine ends up here in this pile of compost.
The Process of Go Green in Ocean City
Restaurants are given not only 30 gallon compost bins, but compostable plastic bags to collect their compostable trash. The bins are carefully dumped then mixed with the help of a small loader, a few pick axes, and a lot of sweat from local volunteers. The compost is doused with water to help initiate and begin the composting process. Compost is mixed for several minutes while being watered, then moved further down the lot to another area where the compost will sit for up to three weeks at a time, depending on the progress.
Go Are Goals
Founders Chamberlain and Heiderman, both graduates of local high schools here in Ocean City, Chamberlain- Chamberlain, a graduate of Stephen Decateur and Heiderman a graduate of Worcester Preparatory, saw a need for cleaning up and helping the Ocean City community. With a goal of becoming the first zero waste resort town in the entire country, the dynamic duo is well on their way. Back in March approximately nine restaurants chose to participate including Dough Roller, Long Board Cafe, and Bayside Skillet. Four months later, around twenty five restaurants are now voluntarily participating in the composting program including Mione’s, The Hobbit, Mother’s Cantina, Shotti’s, Bluefish, Bonfire, and Happy Jack Pancake House.
Helping the OCMD Community Save Money
Not only does the composting program help the environment, it actually lightens the load on the waste collection- and saves the city money! The city doesn’t have as much of a load to collect from certain places since Go Green is collecting up to three times weekly. Less work, saving money, more compost! Sounds like a win, win, win for the town of Ocean City.
It’s Simple Science
With a simple yet scientifically thought through cooling system, Chamberlain and Heiderman have devised a really unique way to keep the compost cooler in the summer months. Lines of PVC pipe run underneath the piles of compost with small holes drilled into them. A small but effective fan is attached to the one side of the system that blows air through the pipes to cool the piles of mulch to keep them cooler. Basic science at its finest.
Record Numbers for Go Green
This July, Go Green hit an all time record number. They were able to collect 9,530 pounds in a single weekend! And it’s only going up from there. Way to go! We can’t wait to see what the future holds.