Pilot Food Scrap Recycling Program to Begin Soon

Friday, March 1, 2019

FOOD SCRAP COMPOSTING

WHAT:  The City of Oxford is offering a pilot program for residential recycling of kitchen food scraps for composting.  A central drop-off location will be available Saturday mornings and early afternoon for residents to deposit their accumulated food scraps.  A non-profit food scraps courier service (GoZERO Services, https://gozero.org/) has been contracted for weekly collection and transport of the food scraps to a composting operation in Ohio that are Class II permitted facilities by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and are composting food scraps.  More information regarding composting is available at the Ohio EPA’s web site at https://epa.ohio.gov/dmwm/Home/Composting.

WHEN and WHERE:  Starting Saturday, April 6, 2019 and continuing every Saturday through January 4, 2020, from 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM, drop-offs of residential kitchen food scraps will be collected at the City of Oxford’s Streets and Maintenance Division garage facility, 945 South Main Street (an aerial image of the location is provided at the end of this page).      

WHY:  It is estimated that approximately a third of the landfilled material is composed of materials (such as food scraps) that could be composted.  Removing food scraps from the waste stream being landfilled has several benefits.  Decomposition of organic materials in a landfill (in anaerobic conditions) generates methane and nitrogen gases (in conditions with limited oxygen) that are more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.  Composting food scraps in a controlled manner limits or eliminates the release for these gases.  Composting is considered a natural process by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (https://www.ipcc.ch/), and any carbon dioxide produced is classified as part of the natural, short-term carbon cycle and is not to be considered in computations or inventories of greenhouse gases.  Additionally, removing compostable materials from the landfilled waste stream leaves more space for disposal of materials that can’t be otherwise processed, recycled, or reclaimed, thus lengthening the useful, effective lifetime of the landfill facility. 

HOW:  The City of Oxford has 100 lidded buckets available for food scrap storage and transport to residents on a first-come-first-serve basis.  However, these City-provided containers are not a requirement to participate in the food scraps recycling pilot program.  Any container of food scraps that the resident can lift and empty into GoZERO Service’s waste-wheeler carts may be used. 

A partial listing of currently acceptable and non-acceptable items is below.  A rule of thumb for any food scrap composting program is: “When in doubt, leave it out”.  The presence on non-acceptable materials may contaminate the feed stock for the compost’s final product, possibly rendering the compost as unusable.  The physical removal of any contaminants is possible, but adds time, effort, and cost to the composting process.

It is suggested that a small bowl or container be kept in the kitchen to accumulate the food scraps as they are generated during meal preparation activities, and to accept plate scrapings.  Keep the stored ford scraps in a cool place (meat and fish scraps should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer until taken to the drop-off).  Keep the containers clean to help odor reduction.  GoZERO Services accepts food scraps in Biodegradable Plastic Institute (BPI) certified 6400 bio-degradable liner bags.  From their experience, they state that bio-degradable bags from EcoSafe and Biobag are good products, and are available for purchase from various sites on the internet.     

Additional information and tips for food scrap recycling for composting can be found by an internet search.

QUESTIONS?       Contact the City of Oxford’s Environmental Division, at (513) 524–5274

                

Click on the files below to see a drop off location map and a list of acceptable materials.

                

Departments: 
City Manager
Service & Engineering
Service (Environmental)