New Fort Worth program turns your leftover food scraps into compost

A new program from the City of Fort Worth will enable residents to reduce food waste, slow down a fast-filling landfill and be good for the environment. The new Pilot program for composting food waste in residential areas helps households turn their leftover food into valuable composting material.

Bye, banana peels, onion peels, clams with seafood, tea bags and coffee grounds. Hello to rich organic matter that promotes plant growth.

The composting program is part of the Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Plan, an initiative that Fort Worth launched in 2017. It was taken from a similar program in Minneapolis, according to a city official.

“Around 30 percent of household waste is organic,” says Joao Pimentel, senior planner for the city of Fort Worth. “It could be composted and diverted a large amount of waste from the landfill. This material is better used and the environmental impact is less. “

To participate, residents register their household online, pay a subscription fee of $ 20, and collect a starter kit at an assigned Fort Worth drop-off point. The kit includes a kitchen work bucket, a lockable 5 gallon bucket, various teaching materials, and a fridge magnet that explains which materials can and cannot be composted.

Then just set compostable items aside so that they don’t go into your normal garbage disposal. According to the city’s website, acceptable items are:

  • Cooked meat

  • Leftover food and leftover food

  • Eggs and dairy products

  • Seafood and shellfish

  • Bakery products

  • Coffee filter and bottom

  • Teabag

  • Fruits and vegetables with stickers removed

Unacceptable elements are:

  • Animal waste or cat litter

  • Fat or oil

  • Freezer packaging

  • Raw meat

  • chewing gum

  • Popcorn bags for the microwave

  • Styrofoam

  • Recyclable items

  • Products labeled “biodegradable”

  • Plastic bags, liners or plastic coatings

  • Diapers and toiletries

Once the 5 gallon bucket is full, take it to the nearest food waste collection point and empty it into a green composting truck. There are 10 local collection points across the city, five of which only collect food waste as part of the pilot program. You are:

  • Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., 76107

  • Foster Park, 4398 Trail Lake Dr., 76109

  • Fairmount Park, 1501 5th Ave., 76104

  • Hartwood Park Tennis Courts, 4300-4302 Hartwood Dr., 76109

  • River Park, 3100 Bryant Irvin Rd., 76109

The drop-off points in the city of Fort Worth that accept leftover food are:

  • Brennan Drop-off Station, 2400 Brennan Ave., 76106

  • Southeast drop-off point, 5150 Martin Luther King Frwy., 76119

  • Old Hemphill Drop Off Station, 6260 Old Hemphill Rd., 76134

  • Hillshire Dispensing Station, 301 Hillshire Dr., Haslet, 76052

  • Environmental Collection Center, ECC, 6400 Bridge St., 76112

In a few months, these leftovers are subjected to a decomposition process and composted. The end product can then be used in landscaping, gardens, and roadside embankment construction, the city said.

Why throw away the waste instead of using a backyard composter? “Large industrial composting plants maintain higher temperatures than backyard compost bins,” the city explains on the website. “These temperatures kill bacteria and break down items that can’t be composted at home, like cooked meat, dairy products, and eggs.”

The city continues to urge residents to compost at home as well. The pilot is designed to move more materials that are not wasted away from the landfill, which will also help maintain and reduce costs for taxpayers.

Opening a new landfill is a difficult prospect, says Pimentel. Therefore it makes much more sense to reduce the burden and help the environment.

“It takes about 10 to 15 years to get permits, designs, and permits for a new landfill,” says Pimentel. “It’s very political, very stressful. Nobody wants a landfill in their backyard. It takes hundreds of acres, which means we have to move material away from the landfills. “

Landfills also produce methane gas, which displaces oxygen in the air.

“We don’t want that in the atmosphere,” says Pimentel. “However, the type of compost itself is very good because of its soluble nutrients. The material can be reused, recycled, mulched or composted and the environmental impact is reduced. It’s a win in many ways. “

The $ 20 subscription fee goes to the Keep Fort Worth Beautiful program, which is the local affiliate of the Keep America Beautiful plan to combat pollution.

To learn more about the composting program, which is only available to Fort Worth residents, visit the program’s website.

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