BALTIMORE (AP) — Maryland’s Department of the Environment says it is marking Earth Day by offering composting of food waste to the more than 900 employees at its Baltimore headquarters.

The department says it expects the program announced Monday to divert more than six tons of waste from landfills in its first year.

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State officials say composting is the next frontier in recycling for Maryland. Composting is an inexpensive, natural way to handle organic waste that creates soil additives that can be used in lawns and gardens. Compost also improves soil, helping to control erosion and reduce stormwater runoff, which can pollutants into waterways and eventually the Chesapeake Bay.

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The department says a composting bin is being provided in each employee break room with guidance on what material can be composted.

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