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Saturday 23 October 2021
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ROC City Compost Collecting Tons of Food Waste

Patti Singer
pattisinger@minorityreporter.net

Shalini Beath, energy and sustainability manager in the city’s Division of Environmental Quality, at the collection site at Genesee Valley Park in July. File photo

The ROC City Compost Program has collected 12 tons of food waste in just about two months since it started, but the amount is difficult to put into perspective since the program is new and participants still are getting buckets for their scraps.

“The 12 ton number doesn’t yet represent the maximum participation so we’ll need to wait a couple of weeks to see how that changes,” said Shalini Beath, energy and sustainability manager in the city’s Division of Environmental Quality.

But it does show that the current 217 participants are taking this seriously. The program started in July, and as of Aug. 11 the city said two tons of food and other organic waste had been collected – thereby keeping it out of landfills.

That was before the program was fully enrolled.

The update issued on Sept. 17 of 12 tons reflects more participants but still short of capacity.

“We are just now at the point where we are at capacity and almost all participants have received a toolkit,” Beath said. “Newly registered participants are still in the process of getting their toolkit and can start coming to the drop offs in the following weeks.”

Beath said participation will be tracked throughout the one-year pilot.

The waste is going to a worm farm in Seneca County. The city is working on how to distribute the compost to participants so they can use it in their gardens.

ROC City Compost is part of the city’s Climate Action Plan. It also is part of a campaign to reduce food waste. The city has budgeted about $160,000 for the pilot.