Schuylkill Setback: Philly Compost Facility On Hold

Philly Compost's Lee MeinickeHere's some disappointing news: Philly Compost's plans to operate out of the Schuylkill Center in Roxborough have been shelved. President Lee Meinicke says she doesn't have the funds to get up and running, but hopes to eventually raise the capital.

Unfortunately, another problem looms: Some neighbors oppose the composting facility (including members of Toad Detour and East 33). These groups also fought plans for small-scale commercial farming at Manatawna Farms. (For more on that conflict, check out Nic Esposito's recent column in Grid.) According to WHYY's newsworks.org:

They worry about the composting facility's impact on wildlife, just as they did at Manatawna. "I'm not opposed to composting," says Christina Kobland, founder of conservationist group East 33. "It would be great in the right place. But to rip up wildlife habitat and build a composting facility, which comes with its own environmental problems? I think it sets a bad example."

Meinicke sees things differently. "It breaks my heart that they don't support us. I worked at a nature conservancy for 12 years, and I'm totally committed to nature. These are people who see any conversion of land as wrong."

That said, Meinicke reiterates plans are on hold due to monetary concerns, not neighborhood opposition.