“It’s mother nature doing its thing:” Go Green OC expands recycling efforts with new partnerships


SALISBURY, Md. – “Go Green OC’s mission is to make Ocean City the first zero-waste resort town in the U.S.,” Go Green OC Founder Josh Chamberlain said.

With the expansion of the non-profit’s composting campaign, that goal is even closer to becoming reality. Compost is a mixture of ingredients such as leaves and food waste used to fertilize and restore soil.

“Composting can reduce up to 50% of waste in restaurants, so it’s just another way to do good to Mother Earth,” Chamberlain said.

“So that was kind of that light bulb moment of okay this is definitely worth doing. You think about half of your trash and waste you can repurpose into a valuable and renewable resource? Let’s go down this and let’s explore this,” The Hobbit Restaurant Owner Garvey Heiderman said.

This initiative also brings an official recycling program to the resort town, as efforts were discontinued back in 2009.

The program began in 2018 with collecting food waste from just one restaurant, the Hobbit.  Today, the non-profit has partnerships with 12 restaurants in the resort town, adding Fish Tails Bar & Grill to that lineup.

“We’re in the fishing business and the restaurant business, so we try to do what’s best for the environment and keep everything sustainable for our livelihood,” Fish Tails Bar & Grill Owner Shawn Harman said.

As they continue to expand their footprint in the community, including a new partnership with the Lower Eastern Shore Sierra Club chapter,  the organization’s goal is to collect 500,000 pounds of food waste by the end of 2022.

It’s a challenge they say they’re up for. “The town produces about 35,000 tons of single stream waste a year, so 250 tons is just a very small part of that,” Heiderman said.

“As we’re a resort town and living on the ocean, we should be doing the best job we possibly can,” Chamberlain said.

In addition to the new restaurants and partners, the non-profit also has the support of the Town of Ocean City.

We’re also told the program not only has a waiting list now of 30 restaurants looking to partner, but its growth has also peaked the interests of many organizations outside the state of Maryland.

New partner Lower Eastern Shore Sierra Club donated $1,000 to support the group’s efforts.

In addition, Ocean Compost purchased a new truck that will almost double the hauling capacity for compost.

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