With the goal of reducing residential food waste by 25% over the next year, First Selectman Jim Marpe announced today the opening of a food scraps, recycling drop-off area at the Westport Transfer Station.
According to the announcement, food waste is one of the heaviest, wettest and most expensive waste streams for the town to process, “and nearly one out of every four bags of groceries end up in the trash.”
Dubbed the Zero Food Waste Challenge and orchestrated in cooperation with Sustainable Westport, the effort promotes three ways residents can participate.
In addition to the food scraps drop-off center, residents can pay a licensed food waste hauler to have scraps picked up curbside, or they can use the food waste for home composting.
“Residents are encouraged to evaluate the food they throw away, and then make important changes in the way they shop, prepare and even store food,” the announcement says.
“Sustainable Westport reminds residents that food scraps are not trash, and can become a valuable resource when turned into compost. Recycling food scraps into compost captures nutrients and energy and returns them to the environment while reducing the amount of trash in our waste stream.”
“I am proud that Westport is one of the first towns in Fairfield County to provide a food waste recycling program for its residents,” Marpe said about the drop-off area that opened Monday. “This program will enable all to play a role in decreasing food waste, which not only helps with solid waste disposal costs and our taxes, but is good for the environment.”
Marpe credited Pippa Bell Ader of the Green Task Force and Sustainable Westport for leading the initiative.
Peter Boyd, chairman of Sustainable Westport, said the initiative is integral to the town’s Net Zero goal by 2020.
“These next few years are crucial as we turn our creation of energy and waste and use of water in the right direction,” Boyd said. “Getting involved in the Zero Food Waste Challenge is something we can all do at home to help.”