Potential Utilization of Yardwaste Compost in Virginia: A Survey of Nursery Operators

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  • 1 Research Associate, Dept. of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
  • | 2 Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay Agricultural Programs, Maryland Dept. of Agriculture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
  • | 3 Associate Professor, Dept. of Horticulture, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Registered nursery operators on Virginia were surveyed to determine the potential utilization of yardwaste compost (YWC) from a proposed statewide yardwaste composting system. Respondents reported using 94,000 yd3 of potting medium, 36,000 yd3 of peat in containers, and 9000 yd3 of peat for field soil amendment, and retailing 144,000 yd3 of organic materials per year. Many of the respondents indicated that YWC could be used as a substitute for peat or other organic materials in potting mixes (56%), field-grown nursery crops (54%), and lawn establishment (21%), and more than 30% were interested in selling retail. Nursery operators (30%) expressed interest in contracting with municipalities to do the composting and using or marketing it directly.

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