Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority recycles 100% of our generated biosolids back to the environment in the form of compost. Organic material in wastewater that is removed from primary and secondary treatment processes is called “biosolids.” This nutrient-rich organic matter is digested on RWSA’s site and then is converted into compost at the McGill Environmental Systems facility in Waverly, Virginia. McGill brings it up to state and federal safety standards so that the compost can then be of beneficial use for things like promoting vegetative plant life to complete its life cycle. We compost about 12,500 tons of biosolids annually.

Composting at McIntire Recycling Center

Rivanna Solid Waste Authority has a food waste composting program at McIntire Recycling Center that began in 2016.  In 2016, the Center collected 18.5 tons of compostable food waste from residents.

Several citizens approached Rivanna about providing this interim service concerned that composting services at the farmer’s market “had no home” during the winter months. So Rivanna’s Executive Director, Tom Frederick, brought the issue to the Rivanna board in December 2015 and they unanimously approved the 3-month initiative thereby increasing accessibility to composting in the Charlottesville and Albemarle area. Since the pilot program, the board has voted to continue the program at least through June 30, 2018.

Questions?  Check out the Composting FAQ page

Why compost?

The National Resource Defense Council reports that up to 40% of the food produced in the US goes to waste.  When food breaks down, methane, a potent greenhouse gas is produced. Therefore keeping food waste out of landfills is a step toward reducing methane gas. Additionally, food waste and other biodegradable waste can be “recycled” into many beneficial uses. In just six months’ time, food waste can transform into valuable compost for commercial and residential soil-amendments, top cover, soil remediation and many other beneficial uses. Compost also plays a key role in low impact development, stormwater management, and erosion control.  N.O.P.E. Natural Organic Process Enterprise, a certified B corp of Richmond provides the pick-up service to Black Bear Composting, a certified commercial composting facility in Crimora, Virginia.  For more information visit the City of Charlottesville composting page.