In April 2016, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden established its own composting program for residents. The compost program accepts approximately 10,000 lbs. of food scraps per year from members of the community. The onsite piles are positioned within a 25’ x 30’ area (750 square feet). Each pile is about 6’ in diameter and can provide enough space for food scraps from 50-100 families per week. To adequately maintain the program and dependent on the amount of waste material, two staff members spend between 10 to 20 hours per week total adding material to the pile or processing finished material. The final compost product is either used within the garden, provided to the families that participate for their own garden use, or sold to the public for residential garden use.
At the March 20, 2019 Sustainability and Resiliency Committee, the city administration was directed to locate a potential site in North Beach to begin a pilot composting program similar to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. After taking into consideration sizing requirements, accessibility, and current usage, staff identified the greenspace located on the east side of the parking lot in West Lot 6, just south of 85th Street, as potential location.
If the city were to implement a small-scale program comparable to the one that is established at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, an estimated $50,000-$75,000 would be needed to initiate the program. This includes start-up costs, labor, regular maintenance, and marketing. Oversight and supervision are an integral component of a successful composting program; therefore, staff is needed to maintain the piles and monitor the material that is dropped off. A program of this size could service slightly over 100 households and can include some small businesses. The size requirement would be approximately 750-1000 square feet.