Composting illegal?

An LA Times article, "Red tape ensnares L.A. flower grower's composting efforts"

Silver Lake Farms owner is cited by city agency for composting waste not generated in her home. Officials say she will be OK if they receive no more complaints.

By Mary MacVean
December 26, 2008

Composting fruit and vegetable scraps has become a darling of the sustainability movement, and government officials sing its praises, but drop the wrong carrot tops or lettuce leaves on a backyard compost pile and you could be breaking state law.

"Overall, composting is great. We love it," said Andrew Hughan, spokesman for the California Integrated Waste Management Board.

However, to compost without a solid waste facility permit, you must meet certain requirements, including that the composting material must be generated onsite unless it is placed in a vessel that controls airborne emissions. That means a person who takes a neighbor's apple peels or wilted spinach and drops them on a compost pile, or into a homemade bin, could be cited.

It's pretty unlikely that will happen, Hughan said, explaining, "We have bigger fish to fry."

But it's not impossible.

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