April 2019
E-newsletter highlighting grant deadlines, upcoming workshops and available resources for municipal recycling and solid waste leaders.
New Report Shows Any Community Can Start Composting Today

The report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance outlines best management practices for community-based composting operations

A new report details how small-scale composters can maximize benefits to their local communities.

In Community Composting Done Right: A Guide to Best Management Practices, co-authors Linda Bilsens Brolis and Brenda Platt provide a step-by-step illustrated guide for small-scale composters to manage their sites successfully, engage the community, and create high-quality compost. BMPs covered: create the right composting recipe, develop site and management plans, avoid nuisance issues, and monitor the composting process. According to Linda Bilsens Brolis, “Community composting is the not-so-radical notion that compost is produced and used in the same community in which the food scraps are generated.”

The report highlights examples of operations around the country: ECO City Farms in Prince George’s County, Md.; Baltimore Compost Collective in Baltimore; East Capitol Urban Farm in Washington, D.C.; Red Hook Community Farm, BK ROT, and Earth Matter NY in New York City; Rust Belt Riders in Cleveland; and Sunshine Community Compost in Sarasota, Fla.

Reducing food waste and composting are among the top solutions for stemming global climate change. By keeping food and other biodegradable materials out of landfills, composting prevents methane emissions, a highly potent greenhouse gas. Trash incinerators are also top polluters. In contrast, composting creates a valuable product rich in organic matter that enhances soil’s health, water-holding capacity, and ability to store carbon. “We can stop trashing our food and climate through carbon farming,” says Brenda Platt. “By keeping the process rooted in community, we can cultivate healthy local soils, healthy local food, and healthy local communities.” 

Community composting operations are faster and less expensive to build out than larger facilities. They also generally do not require the same level of permitting and regulation. By supporting well-managed community-oriented composting sites that employ best management practices, individuals and local officials can take immediate action to fight climate change, reduce food waste, and improve their soils. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance calls for a diverse composting infrastructure that includes backyards, schools, community gardens, and farms.

Community Composting Done Right is available for free download at ilsr.org/composting-bmp-guide. Explore ILSR’s other composting resources at ilsr.org/composting.
Community Composting in Connecticut
New Haven Land Trust, is worked with Domingo Medina of Peels & Wheels Composting to create a passive aerated composting system at a community garden which accepts food from Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK), a local food pantry.
New Britain Roots is in the process of creating "MakinGreen". The MakinGreen program is the first food recycling program of its kind in CT. It will operate out of the ROOTS Mobile Market and New Britain’s Downtown Farmers’ Market, where participants can put a $10 deposit on a home food scrap collection unit from ROOTS with instructions on the types of food scraps acceptable for composting.

Participants then bring back their containers, full of food scrpas to any mobile market location. For every fully returned unit, participants will receive $5 in Bee Bucks tokens from ROOTS, which are redeemable at downtown market vendors or ROOTS mobile market sites.
What's IN? What's OUT?
Recent Questions from CT residents & Added to RecycleCT Wizard
Take-Out containers - IN or OUT?

It depends.

FYI: DEEP will host another series of harmonization meetings with facility operators this summer. So if you have suggestions or comments at this time regarding particular items to put IN, to keep OUT or to clarify, please share them with Sherill.Baldwin@ct.gov.

Paper Take-Out Containers, are all OUT

Compostable paper take out containers are OUT

White boxes or Kraft recycled-content paper take out containers are all OUT.

Paper soup take out containers are all OUT
All polystyrene/EPS (Styrofoam) take out containers are OUT
Aluminum Foil Bottom is IN

Take out containers with aluminum foil bottoms are acceptable if clean of food. These types of containers typically come with either a plastic lid or a paper lid.

The paper lid is OUT
The plastic lid is IN
Plastic take-out containers are a bit more confusing. Most are okay, but some are too small and likely to be contaminated with food and should be OUT.

Smaller "condiment" type containers should be left OUT due to size.
Based on the original harmonization conversations, it was decided black plastic was acceptable, so these plastic take-out containers are IN.
CT In the News
Land trust to host recycling seminar (The Southington Observer, March 28)
The Municipal Voice : with C.J. May and Jennifer Heaton-Jones (WNHH Community Radio, March 22)
Don't Trash Recycling (New Haven Independent, March 14)
Recycling benefit to become an expense (The Wilton Bulletin, March 13)
CT households will face new recycling challenges (West Hartford News, March 13)
GOP Leader Keeps Town on Toes (New Haven Independent, March 1)
 Upcoming Events: 

Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 1:30 - 2:30pm - Reducing Our Plastic Footprint: Experiences from the European Union with Giuliana Torta,  CT DEEP HQ, 79 Elm St., Hartford, CT. Registration to attend in Hartford . OR Register for live streaming . Hosted by CT River Conservancy and CT DEEP.

May 7 - 8, 2019 - Fighting Contamination through Operations and Education - A Proven Systematic Approach , for local and regional recycling coordinators in NERC region, Amherst, MA.  More information . Hosted by NERC and The Recycling Partnership.

May 22, 2019 - 1:30-3:00pm - Expanding Community Composting in Connecticut webinar.  More information . Hosted by CT DEEP .
Have an idea or topic for future municipal recycling webinar? Let us know what you and your colleagues would like to learn more about. Contact Sherill Baldwin.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer that is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request an accommodation contact us at (860) 418-5910 or deep.accommodations@ct.gov.
CT DEEP | Source Reduction & Recycling Group | 860-424-4193 | www.ct.gov/deep/recycle