When it comes to trash, you have your recycling and your regular waste, but many people are starting to add a third category: compost. It’s an effort some municipalities in New York state are dipping their toes into. Last July, Farmer Pirate Compost teamed up with the city of Buffalo to offer that service for free.
“We started [as] a small beat-up pickup truck, a pitchfork, and one pile,” Dumas, a worker-owner at Farmer Pirate Compost recalled. On top of commercial and residential customers, are 1,600 participants via the city’s program. While there are 2,000 spots available, Dumas says they want to keep representation of each city district equal. With some districts lagging in sign-ups, they’re keeping those spots for potential latecomers who didn’t hear about the program before.
“New York State is really focusing efforts on composting,” she added. This program was funded by Department of Environmental Conservation grants. Dumas hopes to work out the kinks over the next year and hopefully continue and expand the operation. “We hope to see the cost benefit there,” she said. Food scraps are often the heaviest thing in trash, so this can make a big difference.”In 2023, we diverted a total of 940,000 pounds or 470 tons of food scraps from the landfill,” Dumas said. “It’s equal to about two of Statue of Libertys.” She thinks it’s possible for many municipalities.