Eugene’s curbside residential food waste collection pilot adds a second area this week in a section of the Harlow neighborhood. The new pilot area includes about 470 households, east of Coburg Road and north of Harlow Road. The Friendly area collection began in September of this year, and the program will phase in two more pilot areas over the next year. Throughout the course of the pilot program, participants will have a chance to give input and discuss what is going well and what could be improved. The input and data collected during the pilot will help the City of Eugene create a city-wide food waste collection program in the future that works for everyone.
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 launched the two-year residential curbside food waste collection pilot program this year. The program makes it easier for residents in single-family homes to recycle their food waste through home yard debris service already provided by garbage haulers. Usable compost needs to be free of non-compostable material like plastic, metal, and other non-food or non-plant materials. To keep the food waste and yard debris “clean,” pilot participants are asked to include only food waste and yard debris in the bin.
To develop pilot study areas, the City of Eugene looked at four factors to create a representative cross section of Eugene including factors such as age, language, income level, and homeowner or renter populations. Additionally, the City worked closely with garbage haulers Sanipac and Lane Apex’s existing pick-up routes and collection schedules to best serve the program’s partners during this trial period.
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.