Composting for the Future

Everyday, valuable organic material is trapped in landfills​

 In Michigan, 38% of the waste currently going to landfills is organic material such as clean wood, leaves, yard clippings, food scraps, some paper, and manures – all of which will turn into compost under the right conditions.

In a landfill, however, organics produce methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas. Landfills also squander what could otherwise be valuable resources.

Above: SEEDS Compost Manager Jo Jaczkowski turns a compost pile at Historic Barns Park. This 3-bin system manages the incoming collected compost from the Organic Waste Diversion Initiative. 

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What are we doing about it?

Our goal is to reduce organic material going to landfills by over a third across our 10-county area before 2030. The Northwest Michigan (NWMI) Organic Waste Diversion Advisory Partners, convened by SEEDS, has been hard at work on this systemic problem since 2018. A comprehensive county-by-county Market Analysis was completed in 2022 and compiles information on waste streams and diversion opportunities to guide the process. With the report in hand, bolstered by the State of Michigan’s recent push to have counties update their Materials Management Plans, we are well on our way to divert the region’s organic waste from landfills and regenerate Michigan soils. Growing interest and support from people like you is integral to the achievement of our goal. 

Together, we are regenerating Michigan soils and building community resilience

Our strategies invest in the regeneration of Michigan soils and carbon drawdown. Of course, preventing waste in the first place and rescuing food to feed people are the best solutions. However, organic waste happens, and transforming it into feed for livestock and soil amendments like compost or biochar will avoid methane emissions and benefit Michigan lands in multiple ways.

The future we want — where our community is healthier, more climate resilient, safer and more fun for all — is within our grasp, but it requires us to step up and speak out, in our own way, for solutions that symbolize and catalyze our boundless potential for change.

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From Table back to Farm: More stories of composting!

Tabitha made it a personal goal and part of her New Years Resolution in 2024 to reduce her overall waste — starting with compost. Growing up on a farm Tabitha always had access to compost pile but since moving into an apartment in town, her pile looks a little different …

With 20 years under its belt, one of Traverse City’s  favorite restaurants Trattoria Stella always finds new ways to keep their menu and their experience fresh. In 2021, Stella’s partnered with SEEDS to divert organic waste from pre-consumer vegetable scraps though the SEEDS Farm at Historic Barns Park! 

Northwest Michigan Organic Diversion Advisory Partners & Funders

OWD Advisory Partner

OWD Advisory Partner

OWD Advisory Partner

OWD Advisory Partner

OWD Advisory Partner

OWD Advisory Partner

OWD Funder

OWD Funder

OWD Advisory Partner

OWD Advisory Partner

OWD Advisory Partner

OWD Funder