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Monday, April 9, 2018

Composing Compote Compost...

Got answers from Ron Schulhof, the person who started our compost program in Scarsdale.

Here is his e-mail to my questions:

1.How much is this composting costing the village ? Who is providing the compost kits ? Are we making money from their sale ?
  • The drop-off site cost the Village approximately $5,500 to run in 2017.  This cost is mainly from the weekly pickup and hauling of the food scraps.  The Village provides the starter kits.  The Village buys the kits and bags in bulk and resells them to residents.  This is done as a service to residents and the kits are sold at cost (the village is not making money on selling the kits).  This is the same for the compostable bags participants purchase - the bags are purchased and resold at cost by the Village

2. I know we have to have the compost taken off site. How much has this cost so far ?
  • The cost for the food scraps to be picked up from the drop-off site each week and brought to the compost facility is approximately $5,000 per year.

3. Are you planning on providing free compost again this year ? Will it be our own ? Or will you buy compost again ?…
  • Yes - the Village will be holding another compost giveback day later in April.  A press release should be going out to the community soon with all the details.  I'll send you all the info once it's finalized and announced.  The Village purchases the compost and provides it free to residents.

4. When could we switch to composting on site ?
  • As part of the initial research and proposal for the food scrap recycling program, the sustainability committee along with the Village explored a number of on-site composting options.  However at this time composting on-site (in Scarsdale) is not feasible.  There are a number of constraints related to space, equipment, personnel and other operating aspects.  We are continually options on how the food scraps get recycled.  However at the moment an on-site option wasn't recommended.

5. How much savings has the compost program provided the Village, given that is garbage that does not have to be taken out… Is there savings in that, garbage versus compost ? Other than the feel-good effect of not wasting our food scraps…
  • In 2017 the Village saved approximately $2,200 from the reduced trash tipping fees by diverting the 160,000 lbs of food scraps to the food scrap recycling program.

A couple of points from the DEP, NYC:

1. if in doubt whether or not to put that dirty yoghurt cup in the recycling bin or not, the official from the DEP says, they would rather have a dirty cup, than no cup at all.

2. Plastic or glass bottles, you can leave the caps on or off, in most cases caps are also recyclable.

3. Hair off of your brushes, needs to go in the garbage.

4.Oil, grease is best frozen and then disposed of in garbage.

For more on any of this:

The best thing to do with leftover fats, oils or grease is to dispose of them.  You could also reuse some oils if desired, or if you’re able to compost them. 

Here is some more information about our grease awareness initiatives:http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/residents/congrease.shtml

Here is some additional information on our Cease the Grease education module:http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/environmental_education/cease_the_grease.shtml.

Robin ( Sanchez) 

Robin Sanchez | Deputy Director of Education | NYC Environmental Protection |
(o) 718-595-5459 | sanchezr@dep.nyc.gov

FYI, NYC is on a special mission to become Zero Waste by 2030 !

First revision Monday April 9. 2018 7:58 p.m. EDT.

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