City Composting Update
Last July the City of Rochester embarked on a composting pilot study, ROC City Compost. City residents were asked if they would like to participate in the free pilot study for a year, and the first 1000 registrants were accepted.
Each household filled out a beginning survey and
then received a small holding bin for daily use and
a large bin for weekly collection. Participants transport
the large bin to one of two collection stations
once a week, the suggested interval, or as needed,
on Wednesdays or Saturdays.
At the station you are greeted by two or three
smiling attendants who answer any questions,
the bucket is weighed and the weight recorded,
and then the contents are dumped into a
96 gallon tote. You take your empty bucket home
for a quick cleaning.
Regular feedback sessions are planned, and at the first one enthusiasm was broad. From the beginning of the program until September 8 a total of 20,717 pounds of compostable material, mostly food scraps were diverted from landfill. Although the program is full, slots open from time to time and there is a waiting list so that the pilot group remains 1000.
This is the ultimate win-win program. Household participants and the receiving staff are
cheerful, making this one of the more enjoyable errands you might have, veteran bin swap composters are saving money, new composters are learning how to do it, the City of Rochester is gathering data that could help plan future programs, and most important, tons of uneaten food and food scraps are being diverted away from landfills where they form the powerful greenhouse gas methane as they degrade, and we are all participating in a community Drawdown to make our city and planet a sustainable and healthy environment.