"As a company promoting a product that is critical to environmental sustainability, we felt it was important to practice what we preach and chose a compostable packaging material for our SoilBuilder bag," says Gary Gittere, McGill's product sales and marketing manager. "Though the majority of composting facilities use less robust processes and can't accept biodegradable plastics, ours is a high-rate technology that can handle these types of compostable materials."
Customers living in municipalities using McGill recycling services will be able to recycle the bag by tossing it in with the yard waste or food waste. Leading up to bag launch, McGill will be working with its waste generator and compost sales customers to provide guidelines about bag recycling and adding information to its website. For compost customers who do not live in communities served by high-rate composting facilities, they can feel better about sending empty bags to the landfill, because the bag will biodegrade over a period of 5-10 years instead centuries.
"About 75 percent of U.S. landfills now harvest the methane resulting from anaerobic (without oxygen) degradation of organics and convert it into some type of energy," explains Gittere. "We always encourage high-rate composting as the first reuse option for any biodegradable material, because returning organic matter to soil to provide food and clean water is a higher and more practical and affordable use than energy production. But when that's not possible, landfill degradation still offers an opportunity for beneficial reuse through energy options."
McGill, which has been marketing bulk products to the professional landscaping, turfgrass and erosion/stormwater management industries for over 20 years, decided to invest in a higher grade bag based on the success of its test market in the mid-Atlantic region.
"Reception for the bagged product was very positive, and we listened to what our customers had to say. As a result, we also redesigned the 2013 bag, which will feature a full-color photo for higher visual impact, as well as logos for our new Lock the Loop and Made Locally consumer education programs," Gittere added. "The QR code on the back of the bag will take consumers directly to a webpage where they will find a list of communities where McGill bags can be composted and a map providing a list of retailers carrying the compostable bag and our bulk products."
Founded in 1991, McGill is credited with pioneering indoor, industrial-scale composting as a revenue-producing service and recycling technology for mainstream waste management. It provides recycling services to more than 200 volume generators in the public and private sectors, currently manufacturing about 400,000 cubic yards of compost products annually. Since 1991, it has recycled over 4 million tons of biodegradable by-products and residuals for beneficial reuse as soil amendments.
More information about the company, its process and services may be found at http://www.mcgillcompost.com. More information about its branded line of premium compost products is at http://www.mcgillsoilbuilder.com. For all other inquiries, please contact Lynn Lucas at 910-532-2539 or email thecompostpeople@