Composting Food Scraps & Yard Waste
The organics waste stream is comprised of yard waste, food scraps, and food soiled paper - totaling approximately one third of our total Municipal Solid Waste. 18% of total Municipal Solid Waste is Food Waste (NYSDEC Beyond Waste). The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 96 billion pounds of food are wasted each year in the U.S. costing one billion dollars to manage. To address this growing dilemma, food waste should be prevented by planning meals and donating any still edible, non-perishable food to local food pantries. For your inedible food scraps, you can compost right at home in your own backyard. Composting is not only a great solution for reducing landfill waste but it can help reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, sequester carbon from the atmosphere, and improve soils in your garden.
Compost Bin Sale
You can purchase your own composter at cost. Pick-up location and time can be arranged by calling (845) 291-3246.
For information on how to make your own composter and how to compost at home, see: A Beginner’s Guide to Composting .
The Second Season of Food Scraps Drop Off Locations at Orange County Farmers Markets a success!
The second year of food scraps drop off locations at Orange County Farmers Markets was a great success. Approximately 6 tons (!) of food scraps were diverted from the waste stream at the Goshen, Warwick, Cornwall, and Greenwood Lake Farmers markets in 2023. This means that dozens, perhaps hundreds, of Orange County residents were informed and participated in source separating food scraps from the solid waste stream at the market with help from the many volunteers who dedicated their time week after week. Many thanks to Sustainable Warwick, Grow Local Greenwood Lake, the Goshen Chamber of Commerce and the Cornwall Youth Garden Club for their tireless work in support of local organics diversion in Orange County. No food scraps will be accepted at these locations through the winter.
For an update on available opportunities to divert more food scraps over the winter, please see the section below. If you are a locally based organization and work or live near a farmers market and would like to learn more about possibly supporting a new food scraps drop off site in 2024 (for a list of FM sites, visit https://www.orangecountynyfarms.com/market-listings-by-season), please call (845) 291-3246.
Winter Food Scraps Drop Off Updates
- Cornwall: Everyday beginning Weds, November 1st: Cornwall Community Composting will be located at Donahue Farm, 42 Bayview Avenue, Cornwall-on-Hudson. Drive up the left driveway to the white open shed. Plastic collection bins are on the left side. Follow instructions posted on the shed wall for signing in. Composting provided by Cornwall Youth Garden Club and the Cornwall Recreation Department: http://www.facebook.com/groups/cornwallyouthgardenclub.
- Greenwood Lake: drop-offs of food scraps can be made everyday at Grow Local Greenwood Lake Common Ground Community Garden at 13 Poplar Street. See https://growlocalgreenwoodlake.org for more info.
- Goshen: No winter drop-off planned. See you next Spring TBA!
- Warwick: beginning Wednesday, November 29th food scraps will be accepted every Wednesday from 10 AM to 12 Noon at Price Chopper on Route 94. See https://www.sustainablewarwick.org/compost for more info.
Meat and dairy will not be accepted at the above Food Scraps Drop Off locations. Trained volunteers will educate participants on how to separate food scraps from solid waste generated at home, and how to drop off at the Food Scraps Drop Off location. Food Scraps collected at the markets will be transported to local farms and community gardens where they will be properly composted according to best practices and used to replenish cultivated soils.
Per the NYS Food Donation & Food Scraps Recycling Law enacted in 2022, all businesses generating over 1 ton of food waste is obligated to donate excess edible food and send food scraps for composting (if within 25 miles of a composting facility). For more information, see the following guide titled: Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law Guidance for New York State Businesses
Cornell Cooperative Extension Backyard Composting Programs - Find workshops to learn more about composting at home in your own back yard.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Organics Waste Management - Information and technical Assistance on organics waste management for schools, farms, institutions as well as residents.