The city of Athens’ city-wide curbside composting program has provided an easier, more efficient way to compost for those who have remained in the program. The city’s program began July 1 and currently has 1,500 households in Athens participating. The service costs residents who do not opt-out $6.33 per month. Households that did not opt-out of the program — which automatically enrolls residents — received a bucket and instructional pamphlet
Items like food scraps, tea and coffee grounds, paper towels and other organic items can be put into the composting bucket and are taken to the Athens-Hocking Recycling Center’s industrial composting complex. Overall, the program is self-supporting, Athens City Auditor Kathy Hecht said. It takes no taxpayer dollars to fund.
The program has 1,132 residential addresses, 1,344 rental addresses and 866 apartment complex units that have opted out of the program so far, Andrew Chiki, deputy service-safety director, said. “One of the most common responses we receive from individuals when they provide a reason for their request to opt-out is that they are already composting on their own in one form or another and using the organic material for their home gardens and flower beds,” Chiki said in an email.
For many Athens residents, like Lisa Heinz, who has lived in Athens since 1992, the program has provided an easier way of doing something that they have already been doing on their own for years. “I’ve been composting on my own for years,” Heinz said. “This keeps the varmints out of the backyard.”