Leon County Launches Two Composting Initiatives
||New Composting Initiatives
||Thursday, March 18
||Leon County Solid Waste Facility, 7550 Apalachee Pkwy.
Continuing its commitment to communitywide sustainability, today Leon County Government launched two brand new composting initiatives: compost drop-off and a compost bin giveaway and sale.
Beginning today, the County will now accept food waste at the Solid Waste Facility (7550) Apalachee Parkway). More than one year in the making, the development of the pilot program prioritized citizen input and planning and contributes to the action items and goals set forth in Leon County’s Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (www.GrowingGreen.org/ISAP).
“The County’s new composting pilot program will help reduce and reuse waste countywide,” said Leon County Commission Chair Rick Minor. “Composted food waste at the facility will be reused as fertilizer at our County parks and community gardens.”
By diverting food waste from the landfill, Leon County continues to make progress towards the State of Florida’s goal of 75% waste recycled by local communities. Experts estimate that 11% of our community waste sent to the landfill is food. Beyond waste reduction, composting replenishes soil, allows for proper break down of food waste, and contributes to a healthy ecosystem.
“To develop and launch these sustainability initiatives, our County teams engaged local businesses, community groups, and citizens,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “The initiatives are part of the County’s integrated sustainability plan that will protect our precious natural resources for future generations.”
“Composting is a great way for homeowners, non-profits, and businesses to advance their sustainability efforts,” said Leon County Sustainability Manager Tessa Schreiner. “It may seem like a difficult undertaking, but maintaining a healthy compost bin is not as tough as you may think.”
At the Solid Waste Facility, residents can drop off their food scraps at the composting site next to the mulch pick-up area. Acceptable food items include fruit and vegetable scraps, expired produce, eggshells, paper napkins, and coffee grounds. The compost bins cannot accept meat or bones, dairy, food cooked in oil, pasta and grains, coffee cups, or bioplastics.
“Ranking in the top ten for counties traditional recycling rate, Leon County has shown its commitment to developing sustainable solutions to reducing waste, said Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Deputy Secretary of Regulatory Programs John Truitt. “FDEP is pleased to support Leon County’s new Community Composting Pilot Program, which will provide residents an opportunity to divert food waste from local landfills to a composting facility.”
To encourage citizens to begin composting, Leon County will also offer a compost giveaway and sale. Free Earth Machine bins will be available to residents and non-profits of unincorporated Leon County. For all other residents or organizations, the compost bins will be available for purchase at the wholesale price of $38. Counter-top compost collection bins are also available.
Learn more about the new composting program and how to register for a compost bin at GrowingGreen.org/Composting. If you are interested in learning more about how to begin composting, sign-up for the composting workshop at this year’s Sustainable Community Summit here.
For more information, please contact Tessa Schreiner, Leon County Office of Sustainability, at (850) 606-5000 / SchreinerT@LeonCountyFL.gov or Mathieu Cavell, Leon County Community and Media Relations, at (850) 606-5300 / cmr@LeonCountyFL.gov