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Eugene Launches Curbside Composting Of Food Scraps

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City of Eugene
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Eugene residents will soon be able to put food scraps in their curbside bin along with yard waste for composting. The city-wide program starts October 1st, 2019.

After a 3-year pilot, the city is finally able to offer curbside food composting.

Michael Wisth is with Waste Prevention and Green Building with the City of Eugene. He says residents with garbage service can put food waste in their yard debris bin.

“Anything from vegetable clippings to leftovers that have gone bad.” Wisth says,  “Meat, dairy, bones, all that is acceptable in the program.  But we’re asking residents to limit it to food items only, excluding any kinds of compostable plastics, utensils and even coffee filters and tea bags.”

Wisth says the food waste will go to local processer Rexius to be transformed into compost to supplement soil for growing produce. He says food waste is a big source of methane gas emissions and keeping it out of the landfill will benefit the environment. Wisth says in other cities, curbside compost programs have reduced the amount of food waste that goes to the landfill be 3 to 6 percent.

“We really think the City of Eugene can do a lot better than that." Wisth says, "We’ve worked with Bring Recycling to do a baseline analysis of where we are with our waste containers now, and we’ll be using that as part of a longitudinal study to see how much we’re actually diverting in a year and two years down the road once we launch this program.”

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.
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