Orangetown Food Waste Initiative Success

Manage your food waste at home through composting – starting small can create positive environmental changes, and help our planet! 

October 17, 2022

In an effort to keep our planet healthy, and our residents healthy too, Rockland Green has been in partnership with Orangetown since January 2022 running a pilot program, recycling food waste scraps, and creating both health and financial benefits. The Orangetown Food Waste Program has kept food scraps out of landfills, with 37.5 tons (about 75,000 lbs) of scraps collected so far! This results in reducing pollution, improving health, and even saving Rockland Green residents money, through reduced garbage dumping and hauling fees. Although this program is currently only available for Orangetown residents, we’re here to educate Rockland residents as a whole so that maybe someday this will be available to all of Rockland County and you’ll know just what to do!

The ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of Food Scrap Composting

At Rockland Green, we believe that when it comes to helping our planet, starting small can create big change. Yes, even as small as our food scraps. 

Here’s the ‘How’ to food waste prevention  – We’ve broken the process down into three steps:

  • First, Collect food scraps and store them in a small bin lined with compostable brown bags.
  • Second, Transfer the bag of scraps from the small bin to a larger bin to store until it is drop off time. 
  • Third, drop off the large bag of scraps at a Food Scrap Drop-Off Site (currently only relevant to Orangetown residents in Rockland County). 

And, what’s the ‘Why’, you ask? These remaining scraps, though small, actually make up the largest component found in the Municipal Solid Waste stream. While these scraps sit in the landfill, they’re creating methane, a greenhouse gas even more damaging than CO2. The good news is, if they are instead collected and composted, they can be turned into nutrient-rich compost, and reduce pollution – a much better result than being transported to Rockland County’s landfill! 

A Strong Start

To give a visual of the success of the Orangetown Food Waste Program, picture this: A tractor-trailer holds up to 36.5 tons of waste per load. Through this program, this amount, plus more has been collected! The collected waste is taken to a co-composting facility in Hillburn, to be used as an aggregate rather than being emptied into the landfill. This has been a group effort, with all Orangetown residents using the Rockland Green compostable bags, gathering food waste scraps, and heading to our free drop-off locations, proving that small steps, when made as a whole, create big results! We should all be proud of this strong start to the program, and even prouder to know that we have just begun! Although this is just an Orangetown program right now, Rockland Green is excited about the potential to partner with other towns in the future.

If you have any questions about the details of this program, Rockland Green is the resource for you. Contact us!