Cedar Grove Composting

Cedar Grove

Cedar Grove is a family-owned, local sustainability pioneer with a rich Puget Sound history spanning 75 years. By harnessing the vitality of organic waste and recycling it into innovative products, Cedar Grove serves as a critical partner to local government agencies and communities who are seeking to reduce waste and make a positive impact on the climate and environment in their kitchens, yards, schools, and gardens.

In 1988, Cedar Grove started a partnership with the City of Seattle to recycle yard waste from municipal customers into quality, marketable soil amendments. At that time, recycling yard and food waste was the last frontier in waste management, and Cedar Grove has spent the last quarter century increasing capacity while improving technology, focusing on product quality.

Cities throughout the Puget Sound followed Seattle by enacting policies and programs to reduce landfill-bound waste through increased materials recycling-encouraging residents and businesses to recycle the valuable assets available in the region’s “clean green” and food scrap residuals. To meet the needs of a growing stakeholder network of municipalities, civic leaders, professional sports teams, large events , and citizens, Cedar Grove invested heavily in the research and technology needed to process the highest amount of yard and food material available in the area. Using state of the art systems and internationally recognized facility design, Cedar Grove has processed over 6 million tons of renewable organics since it started its operations.

In addition to a strong following among organic gardeners and landscapers, Cedar Grove has worked to develop new markets and partnerships to bring carbon-rich composted soils to more of the Puget Sound landscape - green roof projects, site remediation projects, storm water management systems, natural turf and golf course care, and erosion control - just to name a few. The act of using compost made from local recycling efforts has many benefits, in addition to helping with climate change: improved water quality, replenished urban soils, thriving gardens and landscapes, less chemical usage, and water conservation. New technology has enhanced the compost process, enabling inclusion of food waste in 2004.

Cedar Grove operates two compost facilities in King and Snohomish County. Annually, both of these facilities process an average of 400,000 tons of yard and food waste from Seattle and the suburban cities in King County, parts of unincorporated King and most of Snohomish County. The environmental benefits of composting vital organic resources is impressive. Through composting, Cedar Grove helps these communities reduce greenhouse gas emissions the equivalent of taking 27,000 cars off the road or the greenhouse gas emissions produced by 20,000 homes each year. By composting, we avoid potent greenhouse gas emissions from methane not captured in landfills, carbon is sequestered in the soil, emissions are reduced as less organic material is hauled long distances to far-away landfills, and we support local, natural food production using natural inputs and soil amendments that came from our own communities.

Compost works because of the many benefits it provides:

  • Increasing soil organic matter
  • Improving soil structure and fertility
  • Increasing soil drainage and resistance to erosion by wind and water
  • Increasing soil water and nutrient holding capacity
  • Moderating soil pH, which improves nutrient availability for plants
  • Supporting beneficial soil microbes that recycle nutrients and protect plants from disease
  • Saving time and money by reducing the need for water, fertilizer and pesticides

The vision and ongoing commitment of Cedar Grove Composting to invest, innovate, create new business models and markets for compost, serve the community, grow green jobs, minimize the region’s carbon footprint, and help create healthy gardens drives Cedar Grove to continue to be an Innovation Partner and internationally recognized pioneer in its field.

Learn more about Cedar Grove.

Cedar Grove Infographic