Larger composting capacity increases revenue
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.