In ongoing efforts to be more sustainable, the City of Norwalk launched a food scrap recycling program this week. There are now bins set-up where food scraps can be dropped off at select locations in Norwalk and the program is open to all residents. Composting bins and materials are available for purchase for $25 for those interested.
Food scraps are one of the largest components of trash sent to landfills, but can be turned into useful compost. Compost enriches the soil and helps maximize plant growth and reduces the frequency of water and pesticide use. Composting food scraps capture nutrients and return it to the environment. In a landfill, food scraps create methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas that traps carbon dioxide and contributes to global warming. When sent to an incinerator, food scraps reduce the efficiency of the incinerator because they contain water and do not burn well.
“By recycling food scraps, we can reduce waste, create compost, and help the environment,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling. “If we expect Mother Earth to take care of us, we have to take care of her. While recycling our food scraps may seem small, every action we take can make a big difference.”
There are three steps to food scrap recycling: first, collect food scraps at home in a small container, then transfer the scraps into a larger container for weekly storage, and finally, bring the food scraps to a local drop-off bin in Norwalk. All material collected will be brought to a commercial composting facility where it will be turned into compost. Drop-off bins are located at the Norwalk Transfer Station, 61 Crescent St., and are available whenever the Station is open. A Norwalk Disposal Pass is required. Drop-off bins are also located behind the Rowayton Community Center, 33 Highland Ave., and are available Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Most food items, paper towels and napkins not soiled with cleaning products, and cut flowers are accepted. Plastic bags, packaging, and wrappers, baby wipes, and pet waste are not accepted.
A starter kit, which includes a 2-gallon countertop pail, a 6-gallon storage bin, and two rolls of compostable bags, can be purchased for $25. Additional rolls of compostable bags are also available for $2 per roll. To buy items, please email Composting@norwalkct.org to make an appointment for payment and pick-up at the scale office at the Norwalk Yard Waste Site (15 S. Smith St). Starter kits will also be for sale at the Rowayton Farmers Market, 177 Rowayton Ave. on Friday, July 17, from noon to 3 p.m. District E Residents can also reach out to Common Council Member Lisa Shanahan at LShanahan@norwalkct.org to purchase a kit. Norwalk residents do not need to purchase a starter kit to recycle their food scraps.
For more information, including a complete list of accepted items, please visit norwalkct.org/composting.