Two Year Feed the Earth Celebration!
What weighs over 500,000 pounds and fights climate change? The would-be-waste that Middletown’s businesses and restaurants are turning into rich compost and energy. In the past two years, the Forest City has established two innovative programs aimed at diverting food scraps from the trash. The first, Feed the Earth, makes food scrap collection and technical assistance available to businesses in the Sanitation District for no cost. The second, Reduce the Trash, offers residents the ability to separate food scraps to be picked up curbside.
An event to celebrate the City’s efforts is planned for April 27th, at Esca, 437 Main Street in Middletown from 4-5:30. The public is encouraged to attend. Presentations will be made by the Mayor, representatives from the Department of Public Works and Blue Earth Compost, the City’s partner in the Feed the Earth program. At the event, successes will be highlighted and ways to improve and garner more support will be discussed.
Recently, the circumstances around Connecticut’s waste disposal have become more expensive and worse for the health of the environment. In the midst of this, Middletown is showing a path forward by making recycling and composting easier for residents and businesses. Around 1,800 residents and 50 businesses are currently participating in Feed the Earth and Reduce the Trash. For every ton that is collected for composting rather than as trash the equivalent of 418 pounds of carbon dioxide is avoided from entering the atmosphere.
“The City of Middletown is taking the waste crisis seriously”, said Chris Holden, Director of Middletown Public Works, “We are actively looking for ways to be more sustainable and control costs. Food scraps comprises almost a quarter of what is thrown away and by offering easy, accessible and convenient ways for residents and businesses to separate food scraps, we can treat the scraps as a resource, instead of a waste.”
In addition to the aforementioned programs, the City has also created a campaign to encourage reusable coffee cups rather than single-use ones. At the transfer station and other “satellite” locations in Middletown, food scraps and other hard-to-recycle materials can be dropped off for proper disposal. These programs are available to all residents.
Composting initiatives are taking hold in hearts and minds across Connecticut. If all goes well, separating food scraps from regular waste will become the status quo as more and more cities and towns choose this more sustainable option for waste disposal. When we get to that place, we’ll have the pioneering and conscientious leadership of Middletown to thank.
Interested residents and restaurants can learn more at https://www.middletownct.gov/1272/Feed-The-Earth-Middletown and www.blueearthcompost.com/feedtheearth. Information on the curbside food waste collection program can be found at https://reducethetrashct.com/middletown/.
For more information contact the City Recycling Coordinator at 860-638-4855.