by Dean Gallea–
Last week, Westchester County announced its next steps on food-scrap recycling programs.
The County’s Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF) has awarded a contract to Suburban Carting, allowing the County to coordinate the transportation and disposal of residential food scraps collected through local municipal programs. A municipality (such as Tarrytown) can have its designated drop-off area serviced by Suburban at the same rate as for garbage disposal. These rates are considerably less than municipalities are currently paying for comparable food scrap recycling services because the County Refuse Disposal District will be subsidizing the cost, saving participating municipalities a significant amount of money.
DEF is also moving forward with the design and construction of a Compost & Education Center (CompostED) that will be located next to the County’s Household-Material Recovery Facility in Valhalla. The small-scale compost facility will act as a demonstration site for local municipalities on the composting process, and offer educational programs for residents, municipal officials, and students.
County Executive George Latimer said, “Food Scrap Recycling has been a priority for my Administration since we first took office. These two initiatives…will provide a tremendous boost to the County’s food scrap recycling efforts and ensure that Westchester stays in the forefront of municipal sustainability.”
A recently completed Food Waste Study showed that 22% of Westchester’s residential waste stream is comprised of food scraps. It is difficult to estimate the amount of residential food scraps being recycled since many residents compost in their backyards.