Greenfield DPW Partners with Compost Co-Op for Food Scrap Collection
Residents with an annual trash sticker can drop off their food scraps at the transfer station free of charge. Compost Co-op will be hauling the food scraps to Martin's Farm in Greenfield, where they are turned into high-quality compost products. Compost Co-op also offers a paid service for curbside collection of food scraps.
The Greenfield DPW has engaged with food composting for years, working ahead of the curb to support the initiative as an impactful avenue for reducing waste. With the department’s new agreement, food composting will be expanded upon in Greenfield. Compost Co-Op will make weekly pick-ups at the transfer station for the same expense that the city’s previous compost partner charged for monthly pick-ups.
“The weekly pick-ups will benefit the residents and the transfer station alike. They are giving us four times as many pick-ups at the same price. We are looking forward to working with them,” said Greenfield DPW Assistant Field Superintendent Lenny Fritz.
Diverting food scraps from the waste stream is one effective way to address climate change and improve health outcomes locally. Up to 25% of the weight of unseparated trash is food scraps, which add to methane emissions in landfills and contribute to high rates of childhood asthma when incinerated.
The Compost Co-op estimates that Greenfield’s 8,000 households could be separating 1664 tons of compostables per year from the waste stream.
Compost Co-op hauls more than 130 tons per year to Martin’s Farm, the largest commercial composter in Western Massachusetts, which composts many more items than you can put in your backyard bin — including dairy, bones, meat, compostable packaging and utensils, and BPI-certified compostable liners. Martin’s Farm transforms those materials into high-quality compost that adds nutrients to the soil and makes it more resilient in the face of increasingly severe weather events, such as drought, wind, fire, erosion and flooding.
Contamination is a big concern when it comes to food scrap diversion. Please follow the guidelines of what you can and cannot compost so that the end product is free of chemicals and plastics.
• Meat, fish, bones, dairy, eggs, and eggshells.
• Fruits and vegetables.
• Bread, rice, and pasta.
• Tea bags, coffee grounds, and paper filters.
• Soiled or waxed cardboard.
• Paper towels and napkins.
• Paper egg cartons.
• Paper plates and cups (no lids or straws).
• Small wooden fruit crates.
• Plastic bags, wrappers, or plastic wrap (recycle this at local stores).
• Plastic utensils.
• Styrofoam, plastic cups, or plates.
• Pet waste or bedding.
• Plastic, metal, or glass (recycle instead!).
To learn more about food composting guidelines in Greenfield, visit https://greenfield-ma.gov/departments/dpw_department_of_public_works/transfer_station_.php.
The Compost Co-operative is a worker-owned business serving Greenfield and surrounding towns. The organization diverts food scraps into local composting operations that feed the soil. Find out more about Compost Co-op's efforts to build living wages with and for people who face barriers to employment at www.thecompostcooperative.com