The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is requesting public comment on a request from Barnside Farm Composting, of Haldeman Road in Lower Salford Township, to reinstate a food composting permit, according to the DEP.
At the September Perkiomen Township meeting, a resident alerted the township supervisors to Barnside's application, which has since moved to the next step of a DEP review.
"It's a very sticky situation because there are four townships right there," said the Haldeman Road resident. "The people affected by it are in this township, and that is why I wanted to make you aware."
This application for a permit reinstatement comes less than two years after complaints of odors, noise and insects prompted the Department of Environmental Protection to shut down the Lower Salford company's food waste operation.
Since its inception in 1998, the company offered mulch, compost and topsoil to customers. In May of 2010, owners Walt and Nancy Larkin began receiving food waste, after being granted a permit by the DEP.
Less than a year after the Larkins were received the permit to collect food scraps, local residents met with DEP and local officials to testify about their living conditions as a result of the food composting - issues included excessive flies, odor, and heavy equipment noises as early as 6:30 a.m., according to the Souderton Independent.
The DEP then suspended the facility's permit to collect food waste, though it continues to collect yard waste.
According to another Souderton Independent article, the Larkins voluntarily suspended their food collection, and have invested in equipment to eliminate the smells associated with composting food. The DEP states that the new application addresses the odors.
According to the DEP, copies of the application are available for public viewing at the Perkiomen Valley Library in Schwenksville and the DEP's Southeast Regional Office in Norristown.
Comments on the application are encouraged, and must be sent by Nov. 15 to Mohamad Mazid in the DEP’s Southeast Regional Office at 2 E. Main St., Norristown, PA 19401