- Departments E - G
- Environmental Facilities & Services
- Composting Food Scraps & Yard Waste
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 and Rain Barrel Sale **NEW 2023 SUMMER KICK-OFF SALE!**
You can purchase your own composter and rainwater collection barrel at cost via the Orange County Compost Bin and Rain Barrel Sale Webpage (CLICK HERE). Compost Bins, Rain barrels, and other supplies purchased from this online store are to be picked up during specified hours from a pre-determined location. Purchases from this summer's online sale will be distributed on Friday, June 30th at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Middletown on 18 Seward Avenue from 2 PM to 7 PM. Purchases must be made online one week prior to the distribution date as the online store will close on Thursday, June 22. All sales are final and no walk-up purchases will be allowed. For questions, please call (845) 291-3246.
For information on how to make your own composter and how to compost, see: A Beginner’s Guide to Composting .
ALSO NEW FOR 2023: Expanded Food Scraps Drop Off Locations at Select Orange County Farmers Markets!
If you are unable to compost at home, the following Farmers Markets in Orange County will accept food scraps for recycling in 2023. Please note market start and end dates as well as open market times. No food scraps will be accepted at these locations outside of open market hours, which includes closures due to impending extreme weather. Please visit https://www.orangecountynyfarms.com/farmers-markets for more info on Farmers Markets or call (845) 291-3246 for more info on the Food Scraps Drop Off program.
- Cornwall Farmers Market located at 183 Main Street in the Town of Cornwall every Wednesday between 11 AM and 5 PM, from June 14 until October 25. For more information, please visit: http://www.cornwallrecreation.com
- Goshen Farmers Market in the Village of Goshen at the O.C. Government Center every Friday between the hours of 9 and 3:30 PM, from May 19 until November 3. The collection location will be located near the Farmers Market manager's tent. For more information, please visit: http://www.goshennychamber.com/farmers-market
- Lakeside Farmers Market in the Village of Greenwood Lake at Winstanley Park every Saturday between the hours of 8 AM and 1 PM, from June 10 until October 28. For more information, please visit: https://www.villageofgreenwoodlake.org/lakeside-farmers-market/
- Warwick Valley Farmers Market in the Village of Warwick every Sunday between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM, from May 14 through November 19th. The collection location will be near the Farmers Market manager's Tent at 21 South Street in Warwick. For additional information, please visit https://www.warwickvalleyfarmersmarket.org/.
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.