•hobbit waste-file

A dumpster sits outside The Hobbit restaurant on 81st Street. Owner Garvey Heiderman runs a town-wide composting program that City Council members re-upped for another year at a work session Tuesday.

Agreement continues services one year, adds restaurants

An Ocean City restaurant owner’s successful composting efforts are continuing and will include more local restaurants following approval of a new contract Tuesday.

Garvey Heiderman, the owner of The Hobbit restaurant on 81st Street, also serves as the director of compost operations for Go Green OC, a company that officially launched food waste collection efforts in summer 2021.

At a City Council work session Tuesday, Heiderman asked for approval to re-up a transportation, collection and waste disposal agreement with the city to run the program for another year. In response, council members voted 6-1, with Councilman Frank Knight absent, to approve the request.

Public works Director Hal Adkins said the current agreement expires at the end of the month. The new contract will extend until March 30, 2024, and will add several new restaurants to the list.

Through the agreement, food waste is collected, weighed at 65th Street, and Heiderman’s company is compensated on a per-ton basis for diverting it away from the overall stream of garbage the city ships to Pennsylvania for incineration.

According to a staff report, 30 restaurants have been confirmed with another five pending. Heiderman said the program has been successful, with about 115 tons of food waste collected for composting over the last contract period. He said he expects more than 300 tons during the coming year.

“In four years of doing this, some of it was official some of it was unofficial before we had the agreement with you guys … we’ve had no complaints at the compost facility, from neighbors, the county or the state,” Heiderman said to council members Tuesday.

He added that Maryland Department of the Environment officials have also been out to the site and given positive feedback.

This story appears in the March 17, 2023 print edition of the OC Today.

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