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Composting service expanding across Oklahoma City metro

Terry Craghead, president and CEO of Fertile Ground Cooperative
Fertile Ground Cooperative
Terry Craghead, president and CEO of Fertile Ground Cooperative

Fertile Ground Cooperative is a worker-owned business that offers residential and commercial recycling and composting services in central Oklahoma.

Terry Craghead, president and CEO of Fertile Ground, said organic waste can be a problem or an opportunity. It’s a problem in landfills because the waste gets buried and doesn’t have oxygen while it decomposes. This creates methane, a greenhouse gas that traps much more heat than carbon dioxide.

Craghead said that composting organic waste instead of putting it in landfills has multiple benefits for the environment and the community.

“When we waste our food and put it in landfills, we're taking a resource that's valuable and locking it away,” he said. “Composting allows us to recover that resource and put it to work in our community, creating jobs, making our lakes and streams healthier, making our air quality better, and making our food healthier.”

This year, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments was awarded funding from the U.S.Department of Agriculture to pilot a composting program in Central Oklahoma. ACOG chose Fertile Ground to make that pilot a reality.

Fertile Ground will establish 20 food drop-off sites across the Oklahoma City metro area and also deliver finished compost to farms, schools and local businesses.

Fertile Ground is asking the public where those sites should be located through a survey that’s open until midnight on July 12.

The new sites are scheduled to open in September.

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Cait Kelley is a summer intern at KOSU through the Scripps Howard Fund summer internship program.
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