Composting Made Easy Drop-Off and Pickup Options Make Recycling Food Waste SimpleJul 30, 2021 11:36AM ● By Angelina Capalbo
I never thought it was possible to compost without a house, garden, balcony or deck. It’s easy to feel limited, living the apartment building life. But composting was always a destination on my sustainable journey, and so this past March, after finding a local pickup service, I decided to go for it.
I’m really happy that I did. Not only do I get to compost things that would normally end up in a landfill—fruit and veggie scraps, eggshells, meat and bones, dairy products, bread, nuts, grains and more—but I have learned to portion control and ration so that I can limit my food waste altogether.
What I love most, though, is that my scraps get a chance at a second life. Did you know that a whopping 80 billion pounds of food is thrown away in the United States each year?
The pickup service I use provides me with a five-gallon airtight bucket, and I bought compost collector bins for my refrigerator and freezer. The three combined help limit the number of times I open my airtight bucket, and with all three I’m on a monthly pickup.
Composting On the Go
My composting journey has opened my eyes to all kinds of waste. I bring waste bags to restaurants, to compost any leftovers. I try to bring my own takeout containers, including when I order takeout; I can appreciate that only a handful of restaurants in our area have ecofriendly packaging. I was also able to find some local restaurants that compost too. When you start doing the research, it really helps you see everything compostable around you.
Want to join me on my composting journey? Here’s how to get started:
Check with your local municipality to see if they have a free community drop-off compost program. Or if you want a pickup service like the one I use, check out Neighborhood Compost and Community Compost Company. (Let them know I sent you!) If you cannot find composting initiatives in your town, check with your local environmental commission or green team, or help start one today.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out. I help people on
their journey of achieving sustainability—let me know if I can help you. I also
blog on local things to do, including local farmers markets, at AngelinaCapalbo.blog. Check it out!
Angelina Capalbo, of North Bergen, is the founder of the online local retail store Organic Good Market. Follow it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @OrganicGoodMarket.
Neighborhood Compost is a subscription-based compost pickup service rooted in New Jersey, committed to reducing waste and building community by collecting food scraps and other organic matter from your residence or business in order to recycle them into nutrient-rich compost in order to restore and nourish New Jersey’s soil. Various plans include bi-weekly pickup of the 5-gallon buckets at $34 for four weeks. Members are given finished compost twice a year. Info and signup online: NeighborhoodCompost.com. 725 River Road, Suite #32, Edgewater.
Community Compost Company
Community Compost Company is a women-owned business based in the Hudson Valley. They are a team of passionate environmentalists committed to educating the public on food waste reduction, composting, and soil health. They provide a 5-gallon bucket, pick up weekly ($39/month) or biweekly ($24/month), and leave a clean bucket. You can opt to receive compost 2x/year or, if you don’t need it, donate your share. Info and signup online: CommunityCompostCo.com. 256 Observer Hwy, Hoboken. 845-787-DIRT.
Free Residential Compost Drop Off Program
The City of Hoboken and Jersey City offer food scrap drop spots to residents. The residential compost drop off program expanded to four sites in 2020 and twelve sites in 2021. Residents are invited to drop off food scraps and other compostable materials in the Compost Shed which is locked to avoid contamination. The combination to unlock the shed will be provided after you successfully complete the a signup. 201-420-2277.
Online Order System for Compost Bin/Rain Barrel Sales
The Hudson County Improvement Authority has an online order form for residents to purchase compost bins and rain barrels. Each of these items are $40 and will be delivered directly to your doorstep. By making compost bins and rain barrels available for purchase online, the HCIA is keeping with its commitment to build a more sustainable and environmentally friendly Hudson County. 830 Bergen Avenue, 9th Fl, Jersey City. 201-324-6222. HCIA.org.
The goal of this Sierra
Club (NJ Chapter, Hudson County Group) initiative is to make composting
accessible for individuals and communities who want to live in a better, more
sustainable environment and to help combat climate change. Composting shouldn’t
be a chore. It should be as easy as throwing out the trash. This is already the
case in many cities throughout the Northwest. Change is also starting to happen
in communities throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. They are voluntary programs;
however, the goal is to eventually make composting available to everyone in
Hudson County, as readily as picking up your trash. To learn more and see what
you can do in your home or for your community, contact Pramod Raju at: [email protected].