Sandia/New Mexico sends green waste in the form of branches to Kirtland Air Force Base’s mulching program. Additionally, sensitive documents are destroyed onsite and the remains are sent locally for composting. In 2010-2011, the green waste and composting efforts began and expanded greatly.
To reduce green waste going to the landfill, two large rolloff containers were strategically placed on campus to receive any green waste not eligible to be mulched (leaves, grass, trimmings). When full, these containers are hauled to a local composting facility. As needed, finished compost is simultaneously purchased by the truckload to save on return transportation. To reduce the volume of grass clippings and leaves, campus landscapers purchased two new mulching lawnmowers using recycling revenue.
Building on momentum from a 2009 waste audit, a six-month pilot of food waste composting from the main dining facility was completed in 2010 — it diverted more than 25% of the facility’s waste. The pilot was converted into an ongoing contract, and at Earth Day 2011 it expanded to the satellite café on campus. Diversion continues to improve, most recently reaching 66% of the two facilities’ waste.