Most people aren’t aware of the amount of food that they throw away each year. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "95% of food that is thrown away ends up in landfills." In an effort to reduce food waste, the City of Falls Church began a Composting Program.
Already known for its environmentally-friendly efforts—the composting program elevated the City’s recycling performance. Residents already benefited from great programs, such as Yard Waste Composting class and Build Your Own Composter class. However, the new Pilot Composting Program generated a tremendous amount of interest among citizens and staff.
Championed by the Green Team, a City of Falls Church multi-departmental employee committee, the Pilot Composting Program officially kicked off in August 1, 2015. Through the program, citizens were able to buy two gallon reusable composting bins for $5, and were then able to drop off food waste at the City of Falls Church Farmers Market collection station at no charge. Additionally, residents were able to use their own composting bins.
To date, 160 composting bins have been distributed and more than 200 flyers have been handed out. The true mark of success for this program though, is the amount of food that has been diverted from the landfill. According to Chris McGough, the City’s Solid Waste Coordinator, “more than 6,000 pounds of food has been collected and taken to a composting facility in Prince George's County where it will be turned into a consumer product that can be used as a soil amendment.” That’s 750 pounds of food waste per week that has been diverted from landfills since the program launched!
The program isn’t slowing down either. Plans are now in place to expand the program. Thanks to a unique partnership with The Compost Crew, residents of the City can sign up for curbside collection. The service includes a 5-gallon collection container with a screw-top, liners, and weekly curbside collection. This curbside collection costs residents $35 for three months of service. The program will kickoff as soon as 50 residents sign up. If residents enjoy the service, they are given a discounted long-term rate. To sign up and learn more, visit http://www.compostcrew.com/fallschurch to complete the registration process.