Special to 1808Delaware

Keep Delaware County Beautiful, a coalition led by the Delaware Public Health District, has announced the start up of a brand new program aimed at helping residents keep food scraps out of the landfills and back into the soil through the benefits of composting.

The idea of starting a residential composting program was sparked between Keep Delaware County Beautiful coordinator Jenifer Way-Young and City of Delaware Watershed and Sustainability coordinator Erin Wolfe Fisher after the City of Delaware surveyed residents asking if they would be willing to pay for food scrap pick-up.

“A large majority said no to an added cost,” said Wolfe Fisher. “While some said yes and even saw the benefit to start paying another company to come pick up their food scraps.”

Wolfe Fisher and Way-Young wanted to provide an option that was similar to other residential composting programs throughout the U.S., but for free and for all Delaware County residents. That’s when a partnership with the Delaware, Knox, Marion, Morrow Solid Waste District and Price Farms Organics, Ltd. – an Ohio EPA-certified Class II commercial composting facility – bloomed into a reality of making such an option possible.

“A lot of counties are not as fortunate as we are to have a such an amazing facility like Price Farms Organics that has the proper licensure and mechanisms to handle such a large variety of food scraps that at-home composting would not be able to,” said Way-Young. “Their ability and willingness to provide a place for residents to drop off food scraps for free is a huge deal.”

Josh Daughenbaugh, part of the management team at Price Farms Organics, Ltd., shared in the same excitement in offering such a program.

“We’re glad to get the support of educating everyone on the benefits of compost,” said Daughenbaugh. “Composting is full circle where food becomes scrap which then breaks down into incredible nutrients for the soil which then becomes the essential part of growing more food.”

How the program works is residents can pick up their free composting bucket (one per household) at Price Farms or at the City of Delaware Public Works office during their regular office hours. When full, residents can take their buckets to be emptied only at Price Farms where staff will direct them on where to drop off their food scraps.

Daughenbaugh added that each time people come to drop off their food scraps they can fill their empty bucket with compost for $2.00 and put it on their garden at home.

Food scraps include all foods (raw, cooked, scraps), meat, bones, oil, coffee grounds, dairy, paper towels and napkins can be placed in the bucket. No produce stickers, compostable utensils or k-cups or coffee filters, as some contain plastic that does not break down.

Way-Young added that residents are also encouraged to use their own buckets if they prefer. Informational stickers are available at both Price Farms and the City of Delaware Public Works office to place on their own buckets.

For more information on this new program, visit DelawareHealth.org/recycling-litter-prevention.  Or click here for an informational flyer: Compost It! Info Flyer

Source: Delaware Public Health District; Image by melGreenFR from Pixabay

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