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Food Scrap Recycling Program Started by New York Farmers Market

Upon discovering that food waste makes up 18% of the solid waste in landfills across Orange County, New York, A local Farmers Market manager stepped in.

July 18, 2023

2 Min Read
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Upon discovering that food waste makes up 18% of the solid waste in landfills across Orange County, New York, A local Farmers Market manager stepped in.

Karen Wintrow, Lakeside Farmers Market manager, worked together with Orange County DPW’s Division of Environmental Facilities & Services Recycling Coordinator Ermin Siljkovic and Grow Local Greenwood Lake’s Char Pilieri to put in place a food scrap recycling system to help divert scraps from ending up in local landfills.

“Forty percent of the food that we cultivate in the U.S. gets trucked hundreds of miles away to a landfill where it just gets buried and decomposes anaerobically releasing emissions into the ozone layer, depleting the ozone layer and exacerbating global warming,” Siljkovic said. “Whereas when you compost your food scraps they are some of your heaviest, more putrescible parts of your waste stream that are more likely to decay.”

Grow Local Greenwood has set up a composting system that is free to residents and it allows the organisms naturally found in food, wood chips, and in the ground breakdown material and produce less gases that are harmful to our environment. This process replenishes carbon back into the soil where it is beneficial to plants.

“The ideal thing is that you come and drop them off the farmers market and then next year or a few months later you come back and then you’re able to just get a bag of compost that’s soil rich full of microorganisms, helping the microbiome in the soil,” Pilieri said. “It’s a better alternative, rather than just throwing something away into some anonymous landfill; it comes back to you as something you can use and reintroduce into the environment.”

The Lakeside Farmers Market collects food scraps each Saturday now through October 28 and residents are encouraged to donate acceptable items.

Read the full article here.

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