The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner, Macky McCleary, will join the members and staff of the Housatonic Resources Recovery Authority at a ribbon cutting ceremony at Burnham School in Bridgewater today to mark the official start of the Bridgewater Residential Curbside Food Scraps Collection Pilot Program.
Under the program, All American Waste will collect food scraps from participating Bridgewater properties every Friday for six months at no cost to the participants. The collected organic material will be delivered to either New Milford Farms or New England Compost in Danbury (operators of two of the three permitted organics composting facilities in the state) where it will be processed and turned into compost. Partway through the pilot, participating residents will be able to pick up a free bag of the finished compost at each facility--closing the loop.
As the Bridgewater organics pilot program kicks off almost 140 households are participating, approximately 13% of all Bridgewater households. Bridgewater Village Store, Bridgewater Congregational Church, Parker Medical and Burnham School are also participating.
At the end of the six month pilot All American Waste will analyze the cost of the program and the number of participants to determine whether they can continue to offer the program as a value-added service to their customers or whether there will be a charge for the program going forward. The more customers who sign up, the lower the cost will be for everyone. In the future HRRA would like to expand the program to cover other communities in the region and have other solid waste haulers participate.
Residents of the HRRA region produce about 140,000 tons of trash a year, and Connecticut residents produce almost 2.4 million tons of trash annually. About two-thirds of all trash produced in the state is burned and turned into electricity at one of the state's six waste-to-energy plants. Almost one-third of it is organic material which could be made into compost and returned to enrich the soil and grow more food organically.