Curbside Composting Program
City of Athens Curbside Composting Program
Recently the City of Athens approved a new trash and recycling contract with Athens Hocking Recycling Center (AHRC) that includes an optional curbside composting program.
Beginning on July 1, 2020 all non-commercial residents will be automatically enrolled in the program. Residents will receive a composting container delivered to their address and the compost fee will appear on the bill you receive in August. There are no additional steps a resident must take in order to be part of the program.
How Does it Work?
You will receive a composting container delivered by AHRC. Throughout the week add your organic waste to the container. Place our composting container at the curb along with you trash and recycling on your typical trash pickup day. It’s that simple! A guide will be included with your container when you receive it.
Why is the Program Important?
The goal of the Curbside Composting Program is to divert compostable waste material from the landfill. A typical American family’s trash includes up to 30% compostable material. This organic material can be used again, but instead is sent tot eh landfill where it is no longer usable and contributes to greenhouse gases such as methane. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 15.1 percent of these emissions.
What does it cost?
The cost of the program is $6.33 per month for the provided AHRC container. The cost will be added to your trash/recycling bill.
What if I don’t want to participate?
We understand that the program may not be right for everyone. Many people already compost for their own personal use, and we think that is great! Others are not able to compost for separate reasons. If you do not want to participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request. Make sure you include your name and the address(es) that you want to opt out. It is also helpful to include your account number. We will remove your address and the charge will be removed on the next billing cycle. If you have already received a composting container it must be returned before billing stops. Once you have received confirmation and instructions from AHRC, place your container with your trash and recycling on your designated day and it will be picked up.
How do I compost in the kitchen?
One option is to keep the compost bucket provided to you by the program in your kitchen and put food waste directly in it. If don’t want your 5-gallon bucket to be inside your kitchen, you can store it outside and keep a smaller container on your countertop (or inside your fridge or freezer to stop odors and bugs). This option is convenient because you can have it next to when you are preparing meals and creating food scraps. You can use anything from a more decorative container sold specially as a countertop compost bin to a discarded yogurt tub.
Over time, you will figure out what works best for you and your household! Rural Action is available to answer any questions you may have about how to integrate composting more easily into your kitchen.
But, composting is gross and smelly...
There can be some odor and “yuck factor” involved with composting. But there are things you can do to help prevent these things. Storing your food scraps in the fridge or freezer until they go out to the curb will stop bugs from getting to them and odors from stinking up your kitchen. Containers with charcoal filters, which can be purchased separately, help contain odors, too.
Maybe thinking of composting this way also helps: the food waste that is going in your compost bucket has always been in your kitchen, but before it was just mixed in with your other trash. So you are not creating new waste, now it’s just in a different place.
What happens to the food scraps that I put in my bucket?
Once your bucket, containing only acceptable material, is set at the curb, Athens-Hocking Organics’ crew dumps the material in their collection vehicle and delivers it to their composting facility at 5991 Industrial Dr. in The Plains. Wood chips are added to the food scraps, and it is processed there for 3-6 months before it turns into a soil amendment. The finished product is then available for sale to the public.