< Back to H.R. 5267 (103rd Congress, 1993–1994)

Text of the National Composting Act of 1994

This bill was introduced on October 7, 1994, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 7, 1994 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 5267 IH

103d CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5267

To amend the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to require the Secretary of Agriculture to develop programs to encourage source-separated composting at homes, schools, and workplaces, and on farms.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 7, 1994

Mr. HOCHBRUECKNER introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

To amend the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to require the Secretary of Agriculture to develop programs to encourage source-separated composting at homes, schools, and workplaces, and on farms.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘National Composting Act of 1994’.

SEC. 2. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE COORDINATION OF COMPOSTING.

    (a) COMPOSTING PROGRAM- Subtitle F of title XIV of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-624; 104 Stat. 3619) is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:

‘CHAPTER 2--COORDINATION OF COMPOSTING

‘SEC. 1476. FINDINGS, PURPOSE, AND DEFINITIONS.

    ‘(a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds that--

      ‘(1) billions of dollars are spent annually on municipal solid waste management in the United States;

      ‘(2) a substantial portion of discarded municipal solid waste is organic material that could be separated at the generating source and composted;

      ‘(3) approximately half of this compostable material could be diverted from the waste stream by composting at home, school, and work, and on farms, thereby avoiding at least 20 percent of the ever increasing social and economic burden of municipal solid waste management;

      ‘(4) the incorporation in soil of organic material derived from composting enhances soil productivity by adding nutrients and natural disease suppressing factors;

      ‘(5) greater use of compost as a soil additive will reduce erosion and run-off by increasing infiltration and permeability, thereby discouraging nonpoint source pollution; and

      ‘(6) composting and use of soil-enriching compost on farms is the most efficient and inexpensive way for farmers to move toward sustainable agriculture.

    ‘(b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this chapter is to establish a structure to foster the development of source-separated composting and the use of the resulting compost at home, school, and work and on farms in order to demonstrate that communities can achieve ‘zero-discharge’ of these materials.

‘SEC. 1477. FEDERAL COORDINATION OF COMPOSTING AND USE OF COMPOST.

    ‘(a) NATIONAL COMPOSTING COORDINATOR- In order to make the Federal Government the leader in composting and the use of compost, the Secretary of Agriculture shall appoint a national composting coordinator.

    ‘(b) ACTIVITIES OF COORDINATOR- The national composting coordinator shall be responsible for carrying out the following activities regarding composting:

      ‘(1) Development of cooperative agreements with all Federal agencies to institute composting and facilitate on-site use of the resulting compost at Federal installations.

      ‘(2) Development of Federal procurement guidelines for obtaining source-separated compost for use on public lands and promotion of the adoption of such guidelines by Federal agencies.

      ‘(3) Establishment of a soil conservation program for compost production and use as part of the Soil Conservation Service and a cost-sharing program for compost use as part of the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service protocol for organic matter management and soil loss prevention.

      ‘(4) Implementation of a ‘Zero-Discharge Community Challenge’, in which communities, categorized by size and region, compete for national awards or grants rewarding those communities that strive to achieve zero-discharge of compostables.

      ‘(5) Establishment of a clearinghouse for information available to the public on composting and use of compost generated by States, Government agencies (including the Department of Agriculture), environmental groups, composting organizations and private enterprises.

      ‘(6) Establishment of a nationwide ‘compost from cafeterias’ demonstration program to compost organic discards from school and workplace cafeterias together with yard trimmings.

      ‘(7) Development of compost programs in association with restaurant, grocery, and other industry where food scraps are generated.

      ‘(8) Development of guidelines for the use of compost in agriculture and public lands in conjunction with initiatives in the Soil Conservation Service and the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service and demonstration of the suitability of the guidelines through the use of compost in public programs.

      ‘(9) Institution of outreach programs using the Cooperative Extension Service to demonstrate backyard composting for homes, schools, workplaces, and farms and promotion and coordination of cooperative composting and compost utilization programs involving farms and communities by providing training and technical support.

‘SEC. 1478. DEFINITIONS.

    ‘As used in this chapter--

      ‘(1) COMPOST- Organic materials that have been biologically decomposed.

      ‘(2) COMPOSTING- The term ‘composting’ means the controlled biological decomposition of organic matter into a stable humus.

‘SEC. 1479. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    ‘There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out this chapter $2,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1995 through 1999.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Such subtitle is further amended by inserting after the subtitle heading the following:

‘CHAPTER 1--ADMINISTRATION GENERALLY’.

    (c) CLERICAL AMENDMENTS- The table of contents in section 1(b) of such Act (104 Stat. 3359) is amended--

      (1) by striking the item relating to section 1446;

      (2) by inserting after the item relating to subtitle F of title XIV the following new item:

‘Chapter 1--Administration Generally’;

      and

      (3) by inserting after the item relating to section 1473 the following new items:

‘Chapter 2--Coordination of Composting

      ‘Sec. 1476. Findings, purpose, and definitions.

      ‘Sec. 1477. Federal coordination of composting and use of compost.

      ‘Sec. 1478. Definitions.

      ‘Sec. 1479. Authorization of appropriations.’.

SEC. 3. INCLUSION OF COMPOST USAGE AS CONSERVATION PRACTICE ELIGIBLE FOR COST SHARE ASSISTANCE

    The Secretary of Agriculture shall designate use of compost as an activity eligible for Federal cost sharing under programs of the Department of Agriculture promoting soil conservation practices and the establishment or renovation of permanent vegetative cover.