SCRAPS, a food waste diversion program designed to increase residential and commercial composting was selected for the cover feature of February’s BioCycle Magazine. Published since 1960, BioCycle is recognized worldwide for its authoritative coverage on composting, organics recycling, anaerobic digestion, and renewable energy and community sustainability.
“Not to put too fine a point on it, but for our industry this is like being on the cover of Vanity Fair if you are a celebrity or Aspen getting the cover of Skiing Magazine or being in ProCycling. We just couldn’t have asked for better recognition for our program,” said Jack Johnson, Public Education and Outreach Coordinator.
BioCycle’s feature article highlights the unique nature of a compost operation in rural Colorado, as well as the importance of public/private partnerships. The cover photo chosen showcases a view of Independence Pass, as seen from the compost facility.
For the last five years, Pitkin County and the City of Aspen, partners on the SCRAPS program, have steadily increased the amount of organic material composted in Pitkin County. EverGreen Events, also featured in the story, represents a local business aiding in the effort by providing curbside compost collection for residents and businesses and contributing to the steady improvement in compost at the landfill.
“It’s been a pleasure to partner with the city and county on this program. We at Evergreen are really passionate about our Zero Waste events and our food compost collection business and we are glad we are all being recognized,” said owner, Dave Reindel.
Designed to reduce the amount of food waste currently being landfilled, SCRAPS aims to make it easy to collect compost materials. Bars, restaurants and HOAs participating in the program may be loaned bear-proof metal totes and residents interested in collecting their table scraps may receive smaller under-counter or counter-top plastic collection bins. The collected material is then brought to the landfill to be finished into compost which is sold back to the public.
Participants improve their bottom line by paying less for trash collection and support their community by helping to extend the life of the landfill. Composting food waste instead of burying it also reduces greenhouse gases, saves valuable landfill space and creates a quality soil amendment for improving our poor local soils.
“It’s been great to work with the county, Evergreen Events, CORE and the EPA on food waste diversion,” said Liz O’Connell, City of Aspen, Waste Reduction Specialist. “This cover is really going to help us get the word out about SCRAPS to more restaurants, bars and hotels. Our SCRAPS program assists businesses and residents in converting food waste into a valuable resource by providing the tools and education needed to implement a program to collect food to be composted.“
“Our next meeting for restaurants interested in how SCRAPS works is at the Rio Grande Meeting room at 2:30pm, Thursday, February 26th”she added.
The Pitkin County landfill receives over 17,000 tons of food waste each year and this material can be converted into compost for food instead of being landfilled.
“The SCRAPS program recognizes the importance of food waste diversion as the next big push to extend the life of our landfill. Food waste is as much as 40% of our waste stream and the last of the low hanging fruit for diversion. If we were able to compost the food now being landfilled we could extend the life of our landfill by as much as nine years and create a quality product for sale at the same time,” said Cathy Hall, Pitkin County Solid Waste Center manager. “I’m thrilled BioCycle saw the importance of our program to rural areas and featured us in the article. It really made our week,” she added.
Evergreen Events contact information: David Reindel, 970.987.1364, email@example.com