The Town of Greenwich, in partnership with Waste Free Greenwich, Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board (GRAB) and Greenwich Green & Clean, announces the launch of the municipal food scrap recycling pilot on Monday, June 15, 2020.
The drop-off food scrap recycling pilot is voluntary and free to all Greenwich residents with a permit to Holly Hill Resource Recovery Facility. Residents will collect food scraps at home in accordance with
guidelines and bring them to the designated drop-off location next to the trash building at Holly Hill.
Procedures are in place on site to ensure the safety of residents and staff. The collected material will be carted to a commercial composting facility to be turned into nutrient-rich compost. All food, including meat and dairy products, tea bags, cut flowers and paper towels and napkins are accepted.
Although not required, starter kits, containing collection bins, compostable bags and a guide, are offered for sale to make food scrap recycling easier.
Food scraps are one of the largest components of trash sent to landfills and incinerators. In Connecticut, food scraps account for over 22% of municipal solid waste. However, this material is not trash. “Food scraps are a valuable resource that should be removed from the waste stream,” said Sally Davies, chair of GRAB. “Why should we pay to throw this away?”
“With the opening of the food scrap recycling program, Greenwich has taken another step toward the goal of becoming the most environmentally friendly and forward thinking town in the state, and to continue our commitment to a waste-free society,” said First Selectman Fred Camillo in a release.
Recycling food scraps into compost captures nutrients and energy and returns them to the environment. When food scraps are incinerated or landfilled, these resources are lost. Food scraps are wet and heavy, decreasing the efficiency of incinerators, and in landfills, the material creates methane, a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat contributing to climate change. On the other hand, composting food scraps produces a useful and valuable product that returns nutrients to the life cycle, resulting in cleaner soil, water and air.
“The food scrap recycling program complements Greenwich’s sustainability goals and has significant benefits for our community and beyond – economic, environmental and social – through the reduction of incinerated waste,” explained Julie DesChamps, founder of Waste Free Greenwich.