FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2019
Contact: Heather Ellzey
Recycling & Trash Collection Division
Fayetteville Celebrates Compost Awareness Week
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— It’s Compost Awareness Week and The City of Fayetteville is celebrating with a backyard compost bin GIVEAWAY! Fayetteville residents have been busy this past month while at home, and in March alone we sold over 2,056 cubic yards of compost. We are currently sold out of our yard waste compost, while food waste compost is available by delivery only and spots are filling up fast.
To celebrate Compost Awareness Week, we’re asking residents to “LET US SEE THAT COMPOST”: post pictures of your gardens on social media and tag the City of Fayetteville in the post to be entered in a drawing to win one of five back yard Earth Machine compost bins. We’re encouraging everyone to use and follow our compost awareness hashtags, #wastenotuseless, #compost, #icaw2020, and #soillovescompost. More information will be available throughout the week on social media.
The City is working hard to meet an important goal of diverting at least 40% of all waste sent to the landfill by 2027. Composting is essential to this goal because food waste makes up 18% of the total waste going to the landfill.
When organic materials, such as food and yard waste (grass clippings, leaves, brush, etc.), rot in the landfill, it breaks down anaerobically (without oxygen) and creates large amounts of methane. This flammable gas is the same as emitted through the production of coal, oil and natural gas. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), methane accounted for 10% of United States’ greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. Greenhouse gasses trap heat within the Earth’s atmosphere and contribute to climate change.
With schools and many of our local restaurants closed, the City has gone from collecting almost eight tons of food waste per week to just .75 tons per week. Food waste is crucial to making nutrient-rich food-waste compost and helps speed the compost process up by decreasing the amount of time it needs to “cook.” Yard-waste compost decomposes and turns into soil over approximately six months. When food waste is added to yard waste, the additional nitrogen works together with the carbon and takes only two months to be fully “cooked” and ready to go in the garden.
As compost supplies are selling out fast and food waste collection is running low, we’re asking residents to help us build up our compost supply by bringing their food waste to one of our three compost drop-off locations. Food waste collection is also a great way to help make a positive impact on our environment and is an easy and fun way for any family to get involved.
For residential collection, City staff recommends placing materials in a reusable lidded container and dropping off once a week to reduce odors. There is no charge to drop off residential food waste.
Drop-off locations and hours are:
- Marion Orton Recycling Center
735 W. North Street (between Gregg and Leverett Avenues)
Compostable food accepted Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Happy Hollow Recycling Drop off
1420 S. Happy Hollow Rd
Compostable food accepted 24hrs
- City Compost and Mulch Facility
1708 S. Armstrong Avenue
Compostable food (and yard waste) accepted:
- Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- November – March: First Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon
- April – October: First and second Saturdays of the month from 8 a.m. to noon.
Please do not put the following materials in your compost. Doing so will contaminate the mix:
- Raw meats (fish, poultry, pork, seafood, beef)
- Plastic bags, serve ware, utensils, twist-ties, rubber bands
- Wood, metal, glass or other non-food items
- Fats, oils, grease, non-consumable liquids, vegetable oil, lard
Acceptable food waste materials are:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Coffee grounds and tea with filters
- Consumable liquids
- Dairy and non-dairy (nut) items such as milk, cheese, yogurt
- Bread, dough, bakery items, pasta, grains
- Eggs and egg shells
- Food-soiled paper: paper bags, paper towels, paper napkins
- Cooked meats and fish: shells, bones, wooden skewers, wooden cocktail sticks
- Process Foods: pizza, cereal, chips, crackers, cooked meats, plate scraps
The City of Fayetteville offers two types of high-quality compost for purchase; food-waste compost is $35 per two-cubic-yard scoop and yard-waste compost is $25 per two-cubic-yard scoop. Compost and mulch are available to residents and non-residents. Mulch is available for free to Fayetteville residents and is $10 per two-cubic-yard scoop for non-residents. Compost delivery is available for $75 to Fayetteville residents only.
Visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov/compost from more information about the City’s compost and mulch programs or contact Heather Ellzey, the City of Fayetteville’s environmental educator, to learn more via phone 479-718-7687 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.