BDN interviews Blackmer about composting partnership

The Bangor Daily News reported on a $17,500 grant from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection that was awarded to Bó Lait dairy farm and Scrapdogs Community Compost. The grant allows the companies to work together to produce nutrient-dense compost and take food scraps out of the waste stream, according to the article. Travis Blackmer, a research associate with the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine, is credited with connecting the Washington farm and the Camden-based compost business, the article states. “We still have work to do with Bó Lait to perfect the art of composting,” said Blackmer, who also is a lecturer and undergraduate coordinator in UMaine’s School of Economics. “We are working with them, the DEP and the [Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry] to create the optimum [compost] recipe and [learn] how to effectively manage it.” Blackmer said it may take a few months, but once that process is fully developed there will be some quality compost coming off Bó Lait farms. The compost that does not go back to Scrapdogs’ clients can be sold to area gardeners and landscapers, the BDN reported. “It may be until next summer before we have a good batch to sell,” Blackmer said. “But once we do, what goes in as food scraps, manure and hay will come out six months later or so as a wonderful soil amendment.”