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7/18/2019 - Turning Wasted Food into Garden-Friendly Compost: New Pilot Program To Show Residents How

Wasted food is a huge and growing problem – 30 to 40% of the US’s food supply eventually goes to waste and, when discarded in landfills, is a major source of methane, a potent “greenhouse gas,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But, food waste represents an appealing opportunity as well – and Fairfield wants to help Town’s residents make the most of it.

The Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF) and the Town’s Solid Waste and Recycling Department and Commission has launched a new pilot program to encourage residents to recycle their food waste into beneficial compost, either through home composting or curbside pickup.

Although food waste can be readily transformed into a nutrient-rich soil supplement for use in home gardening and landscaping, currently only about 5% of the millions of tons of food discarded annually is diverted from landfills and incinerators for recycling.

“Recycling food waste has a considerable payback, helping to cut emissions of harmful greenhouse gases as well as the cost of trash hauling and disposal,” said resident volunteer and Flood and Erosion Control Board member Becky Bunnell who developed this pilot program in collaboration with the SFTF and the Town. Ms. Bunnell added, “Residents who turn their food waste into compost at home see the benefits first-hand, in healthier gardens and lawns. We want to encourage residents to learn more about just how beneficial and easy it is to recycle food that is otherwise wasted.”

The pilot program includes:

Free Seminars on Home Composting: SFTF member Mary Hogue and Fairfield resident Dan Martens will demonstrate how to compost food scraps at home. The seminars will be held Wednesday, July 31, 2019 from 12 pm to 1:30 pm at the Fairfield Woods Branch Library, 1147 Fairfield Woods Road and Thursday, August 8, 2019 from 12 pm to 1:30 pm at the Fairfield Main Library, 1080 Old Post Road. Attendees will receive a free under-sink composting bin and sample composting bags and can also receive a 20% discount on a backyard bin that can be purchased at the Solid Waste and Recycling Department in Independence Hall, 725 Old Post Road.

Curbside Food Waste Pickup: For the first 20 Fairfield residents who sign up, Curbside Compost will offer a free month of food waste pick-up and recycling (normally $32/month). Curbside pickup is ideal for residents who cannot easily compost at home and, because the waste is recycled at a commercial composting farm, the hauler can accept many items not suitable for home recycling. To sign up, please contact www.curbcompost.org and mention the Sustainable Fairfield Task Force for the one-month free offer.

The pilot program has been funded by a $1,000 grant from Novamont secured by Mr. Martens, who is vice-president of the company’s North American operations.

For more information or questions, please contact Becky Bunnell at (203) 550-6540.

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