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    Community Composting

    Diversion Potential:
    167K Tons

    Economic Value Per Ton:
    $-34

    GHGs Reduced:
    163K Tons

    Jobs Created:
    230 Jobs

    Definition

    Transporting food from homes by truck, car, or bicycle to small, community, or neighborhood-level compost facilities that process 2,500 tons per year on average

    Challenges

    • Programs often struggle to be financially viable and need to charge homeowners and businesses a direct subscription fee to support the collection of material.
    • Programs typically use volunteers and less sophisticated equipment, which can reduce quality of output and increase processing time.
    • The total capital needed to add 140 programs is expected to cost over $60 million, roughly $380 per ton of food composted, which is much higher than larger-scale compost facilities.

    Stakeholder Actions

    • Communities can utilize excess land near community gardens, schools, or even other waste-management infrastructure to set up composting sites.
    • Colocating composting sites with other community assets will enhance Non-Financial Benefits such as job creation, food access, and educational opportunities for children.
    • Foundations and local governments can provide grant funding to support site development, resulting in environmental and community benefits.

    Examples & Resources

    • The Lower East Side Ecology Center provides New York City residents with free food waste drop-off programs. The resulting compost is incorporated into a potting soil product and sold.


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