Composting: The 24 Percent Solution

Leaves in Andrew Skwor's compost heap north of Baraboo were hot to the touch Friday afternoon. They once sat in the yards of Village of West Baraboo residents and will soon break down into an environmentally friendly material that his brother can use for his landscaping business.

If you’re looking for a positive story about community composting, check out Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Tim Damos, from the Sauk County News Republic recently published an interesting profile of local composter Andrew Skwor. Skwor runs a large-scale mixed organics composting facility in Baraboo.

For about ten years, Skwor has experimented with composting, a method for breaking down organics into a nutrient rich material that helps plants flourish.

As an engineering student at UW-Platteville, Skwor studied the viability of turning wastewater sludge into a form of compost. Since then, he’s worked with scientists at Cornell University to develop software that helps compost producers find the right blend of materials for the product they need

The article does an excellent job of pointing out how food scraps and yard trimmings make up 24 percent of the waste that municipalities handle, and how a local composting operation that handles source separated organics (including yard trimmings, food scraps and wet, non-recyclable papers, can recycle these source-separated organics into an organic potting soil which can be sold for $15 per cubic yard.