Date: May 10, 2021
ALBANY, NY – As part of the Re-image Waste Reduction and Recycling initiative Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced in February, the City of Albany has announced a new food waste composting program, providing residents with multiple voluntary options to divert their food waste from the Rapp Road Landfill by composting their food scraps.
- Backyard Composting: Residents who are interested in this option will be provided a kitchen bin, backyard composter, organic materials and the education needed to successfully compost at home.
- Food Scrap Drop Off: The City of Albany has partnered with the Friends of Tivoli Preserve and the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center to provide drop-off locations where residents can bring their food scraps and discard them into containers designated specifically to collect organic materials.
- Full-Service Food Scrap Collection: The City of Albany has partnered with the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center to provide free pick-up receptacles. Residents interested in this option will pay a small monthly fee to have their food scraps picked up. Residents will be instructed to place their food scraps in the designated bin and place it out at their door on a designated pick-up day.
Approximately 20% of all trash deposited into the Rapp Road landfill is discarded food, and when food decomposes in the landfill it emits methane – a harmful greenhouse gas that leads directly to climate change. This program will help divert food waste from the Rapp Road Landfill, convert food waste to nutrient-rich dirt, improve the soils in our gardens across the City of Albany, and reduce the amount of methane gas emitted into our atmosphere.
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Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “Discarded food scraps account for approximately 20% of all trash that goes into our landfill – scraps that emit methane gas and lead to climate change. We are dedicated to reducing our greenhouse emissions across the City of Albany, and this program does just that. I want to thank Commissioner Panunzio, Deputy Commissioners Zeoli and Giebelhaus, and the Department of General Services’ leadership for partnering with Radix and Friends of Tivoli Preserve to make this program possible, as well as Councilmember Cathy Fahey who has been a tireless advocate for a food waste composting program. I encourage each of our residents to take advantage of this innovative program.”
Commissioner Sergio Panunzio said, “We are excited to be able provide the tools and education necessary to compost at home we believe that as a city we can reduce our overall waste and, in the process, improve our community and our environment.”
Scott Kellogg, Executive Director, Radix Ecological Sustainability Center, said, “One of the ways we can remedy climate change is keeping food scraps out of the landfill and composting them to become healthy soils. We are excited to be part of this process and are looking forward to seeing organics recycling becoming central in the City of Albany, especially in Albany’s South End.”
Dr. Dorcey Applyrs, Chief City Auditor, said, “I want to thank our Department of General Services for their leadership, for being innovative, and for being responsive to our community’s needs and concerns. I also want to thank the Radix Center for the labor of love that they put forward with every project.”
Darius Shahinfar, City Treasurer, said, “This program is not only about doing something important for our environment, but this about saving money as well. Reducing 20% of the waste placed in our landfill extends the life of our landfill by another 20% - helping us keep our landfill open longer so we have a place to deposit our residents’ waste instead of paying to have to transfer it elsewhere. Thank you to the Department of General Services, Radix, and Friends of Tivoli Preserve for partnering to bring this program to our residents.”