Nearly 23 Tons of Food Removed from the City’s Garbage Stream
STAMFORD, CT – Stamford residents recycled 45,939 pounds of food scraps in the first year of the Stamford Food Scrap Recycling Program according to Dan Colleluori, the City’s Director of Recycling & Sanitation. The program launched in June 2021. Since then, residents have been bringing their table scraps to the Katrina Mygatt Recycling Center, located on Magee Avenue.
There is a large green composting machine at Mygatt that processes the food scraps and turns them into compost that participants can take home for their use. The City opted to process the compost on-site instead of carting the food scraps elsewhere as other Connecticut towns are doing. All food, including cooked leftovers, meat, fish, and dairy can be recycled in this program. The food scraps must be in compostable bags (no loose food accepted).
“We’re so encouraged by the response from residents – some of whom are driving all the way downtown from North Stamford – that we are exploring a second site near the Merritt Parkway to make it easier for northern residents to participate in the program,” says Colleluori.
In March, the Stamford Board of Representatives approved acceptance of a $45,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as an additional $15,000, to purchase and site a second food composting machine.
“I get asked why residents should consider composting their food scraps and I always tell them that this is an excellent way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, since garbage in landfills is a major source of methane,” says Colleluori. “It also offers potential savings to taxpayers. In 2020, before the food scrap program began, 57,000 tons of garbage were trucked to landfills, at a cost of $75 per ton. Some 30-40% was food and organic waste. The department also saw a 10,000-ton increase in garbage due last year, while the cost for carting is now $87/ton.”
“Every ton composted is a savings to our budget and the tax base,” says Colleluori. He points out that the Mygatt composter was purchased with grant money from the state plus funds raised by ecology-minded residents.
The City is selling food scrap recycling kits at cost. The $20 kits include a countertop bin, a 6-gallon transport bin with a locking lid, and a roll of compostable bags. Additional $2 rolls of bags are also available. Interested residents can buy them at the Transfer Station (101 Harborview Avenue) and the Stamford Government Center (888 Washington Boulevard). Residents are free to use their own containers.
More information about the Food Scrap Recycling initiative can be found on the Stamford City website.