Did you know about 15% of Onondaga County’s waste stream is food waste? That's over 35,000 tons!
Businesses and institutions can reduce the trash they have to pay to dispose of, and create a valuable resource, by diverting their food waste from the trash and sending it to OCRRA to be composted.
In 2007, the Amboy Compost Site became a pilot location for a food waste composting project. Pre-consumer food wastes from the New York State Fair and other area zero waste events in the County were collected for processing in our windrow system at the Amboy Compost Site.
In 2008, OCRRA converted from windrow composting to extended aerated static pile composting to improve efficiency. Today this process is utilized at both the Amboy and Jamesville Compost Sites. (Food waste is only processed at the Amboy Site.)
Due to the success of the pilot project, OCRRA upgraded its food waste composting facility at the Amboy Compost Site, to optimize recycling and reuse opportunities. Over 9,000 tons of institutional and commercial food waste will be processed annually; the material would otherwise require disposal and potentially contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The project serves as an environmentally sound, cost-effective model for replication by municipalities across New York State, and will ultimately generate some 30,000 cubic yards of compost annually.
Stormwater management benefits are two-fold:
1) All stormwater impacted by the composting facility’s operation is managed on-site or treated through off-site drainage via an engineered wetland consisting of pretreatment forebays, shallow emergent marshland, and deep water pools.
2) Compost generated at the site can be utilized at area construction projects to reduce soil erosion, prevent pollution and control stormwater runoff, and serve as a soil amendment for “Low Impact Development” projects aimed at promoting long-term, sustainable stormwater management.
After the food waste has decomposed and has met all of the temperature and monitoring requirements, the finished compost is screened for use as a soil amendment and sold to the community.
Purchase some of that nutrient-rich, USCC STA tested compost OCRRA makes!
OCRRA's compost is USCC STA tested, which means that all OCRRA compost is a high-quality material that will be consistent from batch to batch. The guarantees that our compost has been laboratory tested by a third party and meets all USCC, DEC and EPA criteria.
OCRRA’s composting process generates enough heat to make virtually weed, seed and plant born pathogen-free compost. Check out our most recent test results.
Residents and businesses can purchase this nutrient-rich material and use it as a soil amendment or top-dressing for lawns and turf.
Diverting or collecting food waste is easy. All you need to do is let your employees know what items are acceptable. Then place collection containers (pails) in the food preparation areas for employees to fill.
Many local businesses are already reaping the benefits of food waste diversion and composting. For example, Syracuse University is composting food waste from their dining halls in order to achieve their sustainability goals. After just one semester of collection, SU diverted some 30 tons of food waste and they are still going strong! Periodic reminders, whether through meetings or simply posting the list of acceptable items near the collection containers will help people remember what goes where.
Call OCRRA at (315) 453-2866 or email us and we'll help you set up a food waste collection program that works for your employees, customers and waste hauler.