Goshen, N.Y. - Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and the Orange County DPW, Division of Environmental Facilities and Services (DEFS) will announce a series of new initiatives to address the problem of food waste, getting food to those in need and composting efforts.
“According to the United States Department of Agriculture 13 percent of Americans are vulnerable to food insecurity,” Neuhaus said. “Therefore, I have directed DEFS to work with Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development to coordinate outreach for the Feed HV App to ensure edible food goes to hungry people rather landfills. Also, we must divert food from our landfills that could help renew food producing soils.”
As part of this effort in 2017, Orange County was awarded $510,985 from the New York State DEC Climate Smart Communities Program for the construction of a Food Scraps Composting Facility at a site adjacent to Orange County Transfer Station #1 in New Hampton. Once built, this facility would provide an opportunity for large scale food waste generators such as supermarkets, restaurants and food distributors to divert inedible food from landfills for composting.
An additional component of these initiatives will also address residential food waste. The County will be providing compost bins at a reduced rate to residents-bins will be available for preorder at http://www.orangecompostersale.ecwid.com. Pre-ordered bins will be distributed at the Orange County Earth and Water Festival which will take place at Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery, NY on June 2nd.
“Food waste is a complex and pressing issue and we want County residents to be aware of our programs and the potential tax benefits of food donation,” said Peter Hammond, Director of OC DPW, Division of Environmental Facilities and Services. “Accordingly, after the film a panel of experts will be on hand to share financial tips and food preparation ideas to prevent food waste.”
More information on the tax benefits and liability exemptions for food waste donation will be presented at Mount Saint Mary College’s Aquinas Hall in Newburgh at 6 p.m. on April 17th. The event will feature a partial screening of the documentary film Wasted! The Story of Food Waste followed by a panel discussion of local experts.