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County solid waste authority says that your compostable waste belongs to them.

 
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Anyone ever watch the laywer Steve Lehto on youtube?  I watch a lot of his videos and I thought that some members here might be interested in this one.  A woman who started a vermiculture business was shut down by the county solid waste authority because they said that they own the peoples waste and that she was stealing it from them.


 
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To think, even a small threat to an incinerator's ability to function creates such a strong response from the Florida county. We still have quite a bit of work to do.
 
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Timothy Norton wrote:To think, even a small threat to an incinerator's ability to function creates such a strong response from the Florida county. We still have quite a bit of work to do.



The one thing that I don't understand about this is how, in my experience,  almost anything that I compost has a very high moisture content.  How could food waste (except fats, which wouldn't be composted anyway) be burned and produce more energy than what was used to burn them?

Edit:  I was also wondering how this food waste is collected by municipalities....are there collection bins for food wastes?  I can't imagine how that would work well.
 
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Actually, what the county said was she was running a business without a permit.

Unfortunately, the county does not issue permits for that at the present time.

"Saying that I was running a solid waste processing facility without a permit," she said.



“The Authority currently does not issue permits for food waste composting facilities because we have the capacity to manage food waste in our Renewable Energy Facilities," the spokesperson said.



https://www.wpbf.com/article/florida-west-palm-beach-let-it-rot-worm-queen-solid-waste-authority-shut-down/45379965

This is a good example of why getting business permits before going into business is important.
 
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Many composting operations get bad marks for stinking up the neighborhood. There are bylaws here prohibiting 'importing to the property' compostable material.

However, bylaws are normally enforced based on someone complaining. Since we generate bird shit and dead birds on property, and those are what are most likely to stink, and we're a registered farm, we've got some latitude. Because compost works better with a wider variety of ingredients, I used to import Horsey doo from a local, until they left the area, and I get raw veggie prep scraps from a local restaurant. The raw veggies add both moisture and attract worms, making the compost less stinky, particularly in our dry summers. We also aren't selling the finished compost, but using it to improve our own farm. So we're skating a little closer to the edge than I'd like to, but for all the right reasons.

As Anne says, knowing your local laws is critical. If instead of "selling" the compost, she'd asked people to "give a donation to the food bank" she might also have been able to get around the rules. However, that wouldn't have put any money in her own pocket to compensate her for her time.
 
Timothy Norton
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Anne Miller wrote:Actually, what the county said was she was running a business without a permit.



A humbling reminder to pay better attention when I read an article, I have a bad habit of skimming. Thanks for point out that important detail!
 
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Selling anything homemade in Europe is a nightmare. Health safety regulations are really forcing consumers to buy only from a company that can afford traceability, which means being able to tell authorities where the ingredients you used for your product came from. Anything made at home can be given as gifts, (with the hope that the gifted one will be reciprocal some day).
I would understand the restrictions if I were to sell thousands of products, any failure in my kitchen could lead to massive intoxication, but not for the mere dezen I am making.

But in this case, not giving licenses seems to be just for allowing the municipal bussiness have its profits.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:Actually, what the county said was she was running a business without a permit.

Unfortunately, the county does not issue permits for that at the present time.

...This is a good example of why getting business permits before going into business is important.


Thanks for taking the deep dive into this, Anne. Yes, now this makes sense. It sort of seems like someone was trying to spin it to fit a political narrative.

Perhaps such a business could be recast (ha!) with a different primary product from the same process, with the worm castings as *koff* a "waste byproduct?" Gourmet red wigglers for reptiles or adventurous hominids? Shipping red wigglers far and wide to apartment dwellers? Fabulous fishing bait, shipped fresh to your door by skip-the-dishes?
 
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“The Authority currently does not issue permits for food waste composting facilities because we have the capacity to manage food waste in our Renewable Energy Facilities," the spokesperson said.

I have the capacity to do it, therefore you may not do it. Can we introduce some "be nice" into government bureaucracy?
 
Anne Miller
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As someone who has had a business license or permit, I have seen the list for my county.

Maybe she could have applied for a license to raise worms or collect trash.  There might have been several others that fit.

I remember as a kid I remember my parents getting all excited about going into the worm-raising business.  This was just a pipe dream for them as they never did get into raising worms.

Both of those are real businesses where I have always lived.

For those interested in starting a worm business here are some threads:

https://permies.com/t/69086/composting/started-worm-farm

https://permies.com/t/140967/worm-farming-large-scale
 
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