Composting Program Suspended

Jan 24, 2011

Committee on House Administration Suspends Composting Program After Conducting a Review of the Program's Financial and Environmental Impact

WASHINGTON - Today, Committee on House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., announced that he has directed the House Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to suspend the House composting program after a recent review of the program, which costs an estimated $475,000 annually, revealed that it has actually increased the House's overall energy consumption and has produced nominal reductions in carbon emissions.

After suspending the program, Chairman Lungren issued the following statement:

"After a thorough review of the House's composting operations, I have concluded that it is neither cost effective nor energy efficient to continue the program.  Therefore, I have directed the CAO to suspend the program until further notice.

"While I am suspending this program because it is costly and increases energy consumption, I would like to assure the House community that this Committee will continue to evaluate all components of House operations and will work with the appropriate agencies to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices when feasible."

According to information provided by the House IG and the CAO, the composting program has increased the House's overall operating costs by an estimated $475,000 annually.  The program has also increased the House's energy consumption through the use of additional electricity for the pulping process and the increased hauling distance to the composting facility.   Furthermore, information provided by both entities revealed that the program achieved nominal reductions in carbon emissions when compared to the Architect of the Capitol's alternate waste management system, which utilized incinerators to capture heat and create energy without generating methane.   According to the IG, the program has only achieved carbon reductions equivalent to removing one car from the road each year.