UMaine faculty mentioned in KJ article on grant awarded to start compost facility

The Kennebec Journal reported a $17,750 grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and a partnership between Midcoast businesses is bringing residential and commercial compost infrastructure to Knox County. Work is underway to construct a compost facility on Bo Lait Farm in Washington where the farmers and Camden-based Scrapdogs Community Compost will pick up food scraps from restaurants and private customers, and create compost to sell, according to the article. The companies, supported by University of Maine faculty, were awarded the grant in September. Bo Lait and Scrapdogs were introduced through Travis Blackmer, a lecturer and undergraduate coordinator in UMaine’s School of Economics. He began working with the farm in April to help develop a plan for a large-scale composting operation, the article states. Meanwhile, Scrapdogs was planning something similar, Blackmer said. “Both of us thought we were the only people planning,” said Blackmer, who essentially acts as a consultant for the project. Mark Hutchinson, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor, said Knox County does not have any existing compost pickup service. “The scale that they are talking about is certainly going to be important in the home horticulture industry,” he said. “I see the end product being used more by landscapers and home use.”