Table to Farm awarded highest certification for compost facilities in Colorado

Permit allows company to scale up operations north of Elmore’s Corner
Table to Farm Compost received the highest level of certification for a compost facility in the state of Colorado. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Table to Farm Compost announced Wednesday that it was awarded the designation of a Class III compost facility earlier this month from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Table to Farm has grown to a point where it needed a Class III certification to continue growing its business of accepting compostable materials, such as source-separated organics and green waste.

“Because of the type of feedstocks we’re collecting, we are a Class III facility,” said Monique DiGiorgio, co-owner and managing member of Table to Farm Compost.

DiGiorgio said Class III compost facilities are held to the highest standards by the state.

This new classification allows Table to Farm to scale up its operations to 18,000 cubic yards of in-process composting material.

“As we’ve grown over the past few years, we wanted to be able to scale up our operations, and the Class III facility allows us to do that,” DiGiorgio said.

Table to Farm Compost is now able to expand its operations at after receiving a Class III Compost Facility certification from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (Courtesy of Monique DiGiorgio)

The Class III facility is located north of Elmore’s Corner and is a 4-acre site that will be dedicated to windrow composting, blended soil production and seed-start growth. Windrow composting is the process of forming organic waste into rows of long piles called windrows, and aerating them periodically by either manually or mechanically turning the piles.

Table to Farm’s facility is one of only 16 statewide that has been designated as a Class III composting facility.

“It’s a big deal because Class III facilities are not easy to permit, and there’s not that many of them, but they’re really important for us to be able to divert food waste both locally and for statewide goals,” DiGiorgio said.

Primarily, the facility diverts food scraps from Durango and La Plata County residents from being dumped into landfills. The facility also diverts pre-treated wood waste from the Durango Wood Co. and Timber Age Systems.

A $187,850 grant from CDPHE was awarded to Table to Farm for the facility. The grant is funded through the Recycling Resource Economic Opportunity program with the intention of helping the state reach its waste reduction goals for composting.

“By prioritizing support for businesses like Table to Farm Compost that are reducing waste while meeting a demand for compost and soil, the state has truly figured out a way to make a difference in the success of small businesses, while also supporting our local rural economy,” said Kendra Appelman-Eastvedt, RREO program administrator in a news release Wednesday.

Separate from the new state classification, Table to Farm was also approved for a Class II commercial county permit from the La Plata County commissioners on Dec. 17.

“La Plata County is home to a rural and agricultural way of life and economy, and we look forward to partnering with Table to Farm Compost and being a leader in the state through our waste diversion efforts and the production of an agricultural product such as compost,” said La Plata County Commissioner Marsha Porter-Norton in a news release.

Earlier this year, the city of Durango entered into a public-private partnership with Table to Farm to work toward the waste diversion goals the city discussed in its 2021 Strategic Plan, and the greenhouse gas emissions goals that were set by the City Council in 2019. The partnership wants to ramp up education and outreach strategies about food waste.

“Having compost service in our rural area is important for meeting our sustainability goals,” said Marty Pool, sustainability program manager for the city of Durango in a news release. “Composting diverts food waste from the landfill, where it would typically rot and create methane, a potent greenhouse gas.”