Larger com­post­ing ca­pac­ity in­creases rev­enue

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

TOWN OF UL­STER >> The Ul­ster County Re­source Re­cov­ery Agency has ex­pe­ri­enced in­creased rev­enues due to dou­bling the size of it com­post­ing op­er­a­tion and cre­at­ing a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in solid waste loads by turn­ing food waste into dirt.

Agency of­fi­cials said at a re­cent meet­ing that 386.63 tons of food waste have been accepted in the last three months, an in­crease of nearly 75 per­cent over the same pe­riod a year ago.

The agency’s three­month rev­enue from sell­ing com­posted food waste was $42,888, up 26 per­cent from last year.

The agency re­ceived state De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion ap­proval ear­lier this year to in­crease the amount of food waste accepted for com­post­ing each year from 500 tons to 1,000 tons.

“Ob­vi­ously, com­post­ing is some­thing the DEC wants to en­cour­age to keep stuff out of the land­fills,” said agency Recycling Co­or­di­na­tor Mery­lyn Akhtar.

Akhtar said the qual­ity of the com­post has helped the agency de­velop a good cus­tomer base for the ma­te­rial. “We get a lot of re­peat [busi­ness] be­cause the land­scap­ers like it,” Akhtar said. “If they are do­ing a new gar­den or a new lawn, they can come buy it be­cause it’s not ex­pen­sive and it’s cheaper to buy in bulk rather than the bags.”

Akhtar said prop­erty own­ers also have pur­chased large quan­ti­fies of the com­posted ma­te­rial.

“We’ll have a group of res­i­dents, and some­body will rent a pickup truck to come fill the back of the truck and put it in the back of their yard if they’re seed­ing new grass or some­thing like that,” she said.

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