Camden County is currently accepting proposals to find a vendor who will collect food waste generated during meal preparation and take it to local composting and food recycling sites as part of a pilot program recently approved by the freeholder board. Officials said mass production kitchens, like the ones at Camden County College and the Camden County Correctional Facility, produce thousands of pounds of food waste during preparation.

They said that the skin of potatoes, peels of bananas, and other excess organic materials that currently find their way to the incinerator or landfill along with the rest of Camden County’s trash can be recycled and reused just like paper and plastics. “By reducing the tonnage we’re sending to the incinerator we can save the taxpayer money, while also taking the county one-step further towards environmental sustainability,” Freeholder Jonathan Young, liaison to the Camden County Office of Sustainability, said.

The county is looking for a vendor that can supply 55-gallon bins to store food waste generated in kitchens at county facilities.That vendor will then collect the recyclable material and deliver it to sites where it can be reused as animal feed or recycled via composting or anaerobic digestion. Composting involves mixing food waste with browns like leaves and dirt to create a nutrient rich soil conditioner. Once the organic material has broken down, the mixture can be combined with soil used to grow plants, fruits, and vegetables, officials said.

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Author: Anthony Bellano, Patch