Each year, Eugene tosses 40 million pounds of food into the local landfill. Half of this food waste comes from homes. To reduce the amount of food waste going to the landfill, the City of Eugene is launching a two-year residential curbside food waste collection pilot program. The program will make it easier for residents in single-family homes to recycle their food waste through home yard debris service already provided by garbage haulers. This service will be provided free of charge in four test areas in Eugene, beginning in fall of 2016. The test areas will include a select number of households in portions of South, North, West, and East Eugene, totaling about 1,500 households.
During the pilot, participants will receive kitchen collection pails to conveniently collect their food scraps. These food scraps can go into their yard debris bin instead of their garbage can for collection. Once collected, the material will then be turned into nutrient rich Love Food Not Waste® (LFNW) compost. The compost will be available at local home and garden stores for use in home gardens. Information and feedback collected during the pilot program will help inform how the City might expand the program in the future.
In order to create quality compost, the food scraps need to be free of non-compostable material like plastic, metal, and other non-food or plant materials. To keep the food waste and yard debris “clean,” only food waste, no paper or compostable plastics, will be collected during the pilot program.
This pilot program builds off of the success of Eugene’s commercial composting program, Love Food Not Waste®. Over 200 local businesses and schools, have already been reducing waste by sending food scraps to be composted. To date, over 7,000 tons of food waste has been converted to compost and biogas.