Prince George's County Organics Composting Facility
Prince George's County Government contracts with Maryland Environmental Services (MES) to operate the Organics Composting Facility in Upper Marlboro, MD. Yard trim (including grass clippings, leaves, brush, small branches, and Christmas trees), is collected from approximately 172,000 households in the County and delivered to the facility. Once the yard trim is delivered, it is ground, placed in windrows and processed into compost. The compost, known as Leafgro®, is sold to wholesalers in bulk. Residents may buy Leafgro® from retailers.
Prince George’s County piloted food scrap composting during 2013 utilizing the Gore Cover technology which is an in-vessel aerated pile system with oxygen and temperature monitoring devices. This technology is designed to create ideal composting conditions within the pile while efficiently trapping odors and other emissions such as dust, and volatile organic compounds, (VOC’s). This system allows for the processing of a greater volume of yard trim and the inclusion of food scraps on a smaller footprint, with little energy consumption and creates finished compost within 8 to 10 weeks. Utilizing the GORE covered system enables the County to divert food scraps from the landfill increasing the overall recycling rate within the County.
The final product from this process is known as Leafgro GOLD® a nutrient-rich dark humus-like material, marketed by the County’s contractor, the Maryland Environmental Service (MES). The compost is produced in accordance with the Maryland Department of Agriculture regulations and is a top quality soil amendment. A network of retailers, found on MES’s website, sells the Leafgro GOLD®. Revenue from the sale of this material is returned to the County to offset the cost of the composting operation.
During 2014, the County increased the Gore Cover system from a three heap pilot project to a four heap continuous process. The composting of food scraps and yard trim mixed together in the Gore System has been so successful, another expansion, to an eight heap system, was executed in 2016. An additional expansion, to a 12 heap full-scale bunker walled system was completed in October of 2018. Food scraps are accepted from pre and post-consumer entities, including residential, commercial and institutional sectors.
Tours of the Prince George's County Organics Composting Facility are available to the public. Due to COVID-19, and out of abundance of caution, the Organics Composting Facility (OCF) remain operational, but closed to the public. All tours have been suspended until further notice. For more information please contact the Recycling Section by calling 301-883-3635.
County citizens and residents are invited to tour the Visitor's Center located at the Prince George's County Organics Composting Facility. Through the informational displays, visitors will learn about the composting process at the facility, the many recycling programs offered by the County and backyard composting.