Food Scrap Recycling

How you can start out composting with a bucket and BPI liners

Tiger Mann holding a compost bucket.

Banana Being Dropped into a Bin on a Kitchen Counter Top
Demonstrating Compostable Bags that can be purchased to line the compost container for food recycling
Sign at New Canaan Transfer Station that identifies what is accepted and what is not accepted in the food recycling bins

New Canaan Food Scrap Recycling

Planet New Canaan and the Town of New Canaan introduced food scrap recycling at the Transfer Station in late 2020. A crowd-sourced campaign run by PNC raised $8,000 to launch the program, including a $4,000 grant from Sustainable Connecticut.

Why is the Food Scraps Program Important?

Compostable food makes up at least 20% of our municipal waste. Our goal is to make it easy for our residents to remove food scrap from the waste stream and deliver environmental and long-term economic benefits to New Canaan. Composting programs, like ours, enable food waste to become nutrient-rich compost which benefits gardens and lawns.

Here’s how you can participate:

At Your Home: Collect food waste in an air-tight container – include fruit, vegetables, meat (including bones), fish and dairy. All Food. Only Food! A BPI-certified compostable bag may be used, but absolutely no plastic! You can purchase BPI-certified bags at Weed & Duryea and Walter Stewart’s Market. Produce bags from Walter Stewart’s may also be used, as they were chosen specially to be compatible with the New Canaan Food Scrap program.

At the Transfer Station: Take your bin with the collected food waste when you go to the transfer station with your regular garbage. There’s no extra charge for transfer station pass-holders. That’s it for your part!

From the Transfer Station…What Happens Next? Curbside Compost, a private composting hauler, picks up the food waste weekly and transports it to one of three industrial composting facilities, all within CT. The food waste decomposes … and voila, the end-product is nutrient-rich compost.

Composting at Home

For those who want to reduce food waste and gain the added benefit of producing compost for your garden or lawn, start composting at home. The advantages of a home solution:

  • You divert most of your food waste from the municipal stream.
  • Trips to the Transfer Station are not required.
  • Best yet, you harvest an amazing fertilizer — nutrient-rich compost.

The disadvantages: only fruit and vegetables should be included in your outdoor compost. (The Transfer Station Food Scrap program takes all food waste).

 

Five Easy Steps to Composting

  1. Select Your Type of Backyard Compost Bin. You can use an open pile or compost bin.  
  2. Choose Your Compost Location. The location of your bin should be flat, well-drained, sunny and not far from your house. Think of slogging through the snow in the winter.
  3. Collect your kitchen compostables in a container in your kitchen. Store it on the counter, under the counter or in your freezer. Collect food and vegetables in the container.
  4. Add the kitchen and yard waste to the outdoor bin. It’s important to create layers of brown materials such as fallen leaves and twigs to promote decomposition. The pile should have about 60% brown material to 40% green (a.k.a. kitchen scraps) for the best results. Continue until the compost bin is full.
  5. Harvest your compost. In four to six months, enjoy the oldest form of recycling with the end-product of compost!
Someone adding veggie to an outdoor compost bin
End Product of Composting - Nutrient rich soil
Edited image of outdoor compost that one can purchase
End Product of Composting - Nutrient rich soil
Founder Nick works on collecting food scraps for Curbside Compost
Nick of Curbside Compost with a compost in background at industrial compost facility

Composting Services

Commercial services make it even easier to compost at home. For a fee — paid monthly or annually — a service will provide bins and liners for you to collect all of your food waste. Weekly pick-ups at your home transport the collected waste to a Connecticut compost facilities. At the end of the composting cycle, compost delivery is offered. 

Curbside Compost, who handles our Food Scrap program at the Transfer Station, is available for both residential and commercial curbside food scrap collection.  Want to find out more? Hit the contact button below.

FAQs

New Canaan Food Scrap Recycling

Planet New Canaan and the Town of New Canaan introduced food scrap recycling at the Transfer Station in late 2020. A crowd-sourced campaign run by PNC raised $8,000 to launch the program, including a $4,000 grant from Sustainable Connecticut.

Why is the Food Scraps Program Important?

Compostable food makes up at least 20% of our municipal waste. Our goal is to make it easy for our residents to remove food scraps from the waste stream and deliver environmental and long-term economic benefits to New Canaan. Composting programs, like ours, enable food waste to become nutrient-rich compost which benefits gardens and lawns.

Here’s how you can participate:

At Your Home: Collect food waste in an air-tight container – include fruit, vegetables, meat (including bones), fish and dairy. All Food. Only Food! A BPI-certified compostable bag may be used, but absolutely no plastic! You can purchase BPI-certified bags at Weed & Duryea and Walter Stewart’s Market. Produce bags from Walter Stewart’s may also be used, as they were chosen specially to be compatible with the New Canaan Food Scrap program.

At the Transfer Station: Take your bin with the collected food waste when you go to the transfer station with your regular garbage. There’s no extra charge for transfer station pass-holders. That’s it for your part!

From the Transfer Station…What Happens Next? Curbside Compost, a private composting hauler, picks up the food waste weekly and transports it to one of three industrial composting facilities, all within CT. The food waste decomposes … and voila, the end-product is nutrient-rich compost.

How you can start out composting with a bucket and BPI liners

Tiger Mann holding a compost bucket.

Composting at Home

For those who want to reduce food waste and gain the added benefit of producing compost for your garden or lawn, start composting at home. The advantages of a home solution:

  • You divert most of your food waste from the municipal stream.
  • Trips to the Transfer Station are not required.
  • Best yet, you harvest an amazing fertilizer — nutrient-rich compost.

The disadvantages: only fruit and vegetables should be included in your outdoor compost. (The Transfer Station Food Scrap program takes all food waste).

 

Five Easy Steps to Composting

  1. Select Your Type of Backyard Compost Bin. You can use an open pile or compost bin.  
  2. Choose Your Compost Location. The location of your bin should be flat, well-drained, sunny and not far from your house. Think of slogging through the snow in the winter.
  3. Collect your kitchen compostables in a container in your kitchen. Store it on the counter, under the counter or in your freezer. Collect food and vegetables in the container.
  4. Add the kitchen and yard waste to the outdoor bin. It’s important to create layers of brown materials such as fallen leaves and twigs to promote decomposition. The pile should have about 60% brown material to 40% green (a.k.a. kitchen scraps) for the best results. Continue until the compost bin is full.
  5. Harvest your compost. In four to six months, enjoy the oldest form of recycling with the end-product of compost!
Edited image of outdoor compost that one can purchase

Composting Services

Commercial services make it even easier to compost at home. For a fee — paid monthly or annually — a service will provide bins and liners for you to collect all of your food waste. Weekly pick-ups at your home transport the collected waste to a Connecticut compost facilities. At the end of the composting cycle, compost delivery is offered. 

Curbside Compost, who handles our Food Scraps program at the Transfer Station, is available for both residential and commercial curbside food scrap collection.  Want to find out more? Hit the contact button below.

Founder Nick works on collecting food scraps for Curbside Compost

FAQs

Can bags be used in the food scrap bins?

Certified BPI-compostable bags are allowed as well as plain brown paper bags without a lining. 

Can I throw my food scraps in the bin without putting them in a compostable bag?

Yes, scraps do not need to be put in a bag, they can be put in loose in bins.

Can I put food scraps in a produce bag?

Most green produce bags are not compostable. Only BPI-certified compostable bags can be composed. To help our Food Scrap program, Walter Stewart’s has changed all their produce bags to BPI-certified compostable bags. Trader Joe’s also has compostable bags (but not all of them are compostable).

Please check the produce bag before including it with your food scraps. Many stores have green produce bags which will say “Green Friendly” and a chasing arrow recycling symbol; however these bags are made of plastic and do not go into the bin.

 

Can I put in compostable plates, cups, utensils, etc.?

No, at this time, our food scrap program only accepts food scraps and compostable bags.

Are paper towels allowed in the food scrap bins?

No. Other programs may allow them but paper towels, white or brown, are not allowed in our food scrap bins.

I have lobster shells, can they go into the food scrap bins?

Yes, shellfish shells are allowed in the food scrap bins.

I have pumpkins left over from Halloween, can they go into the food scrap bins?

Yes, but please chop up the pumpkins to save space within the bins.  If you live somewhere with woods, consider throwing the pumpkins into the woods, where they will become food for wildlife such as deer, squirrels and chipmunks.  Please put painted pumpkins in the trash.

Can I put meat scraps into the food scrap bins?

Yes, as the food scraps are sent off to an industrial composter, we are able to accept meat scraps and bones.  If you have a compost pile at home, avoid adding meat as a home compost pile will not get hot enough to kill the bacteria and will attract wildlife — the kind of wildlife you don’t want to attract.

Do cut flowers go into the bins?

Yes, cut flowers can go into the bin.  Please make sure they are free of rubber bands or twisty ties.

What is the difference between Food Scrap Program and Compost at the Transfer Station?

Compost is the end-product of the composting process. The Transfer Station has an area with “Compost” which is the leaf compost available to all residents (regardless of Transfer Station pass status). Compost is available for pick-up and use in their own gardens. The Food Scrap Recycling bins are taken away by Curbside Compost. We do not receive the end-product but our goal is to keep food scraps out of the municipal waste stream and turned into a useful product.

Stickers on my produce, can they be composted?

No, please remove them when possible.

Is pet food accepted?

Yes, dog and cat food can go into the food scrap bins but pet waste is NOT permitted and should be put in the garbage.

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