Tompkins County Kicking Off Curbside Composting Program
Tompkins County is kicking off a curbside composting program; the goal is reduce the amount of food waste that goes into landfills.
The county has been awarded a $200 thousand dollar state grant to fund a three-year initiative with the goal of reducing the amount of waste generated by businesses and residents in Tompkins County.
With the funding, the Tompkins County Solid Waste Division is purchasing equipment to increase its capacity to recycle the additional material.
Barbara Eckstrom, Manager of the Tompkins County Solid Waste Division, says the long-term goal is to have curbside collection for food scraps, as is done in cities like San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.
Eckstrom says while the logistics still need to be worked out, the goal of the initiative is to divert at least 75 percent of waste from landfills by 2016.
The pilot program will likely include homes in the City of Ithaca and Cayuga Heights.
The initiative is consistent with the D-E-C’s goals for landfills like the one here in Cortland County, the agency is considering a plan that would force large waste generators like schools, the hospital, and SUNY Cortland to separate all food waste from their solid waste stream and have that materials composted at the landfill. It would increase the life of landfill cells, but could further reduce the amount of money the County receives from tipping fees.
Tompkins County currently allows residents to drop of their food scraps for free at the county’s solid waste and recycling center, located off Route 13 in Ithaca.