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Virginia prisons to use grant to start composting program

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Composting is coming to Virginia prisons.

The Virginia Department of Corrections has received a grant of $88,700 to establish a composting program at 18 prison sites with adjacent farms.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture targets projects that emphasize food-waste diversion from landfills.

The DOC will use the grant to establish a part-time position responsible for developing and implementing the program. Select DOC staff will attend training to become certified compost operators to continue oversight of the program once the grant period ends in 2019.

In 2017, DOC facilities produced more than 16,400 tons (14,878 metric tons) of waste. That cost the agency nearly a million dollars in landfill fees.

The composting program is aimed at reducing the amount of landfilled waste and saving money on landfill fees and dumpster rentals.

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