At a community meeting, Princeton officials outlined several options under consideration that would lead to the reinstatement of organic food waste program – both short-term and long-term solutions. Setting the tone for the meeting that drew about 100 residents, Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert assured them that Princeton Council is committed to the organic food waste recycling program. A decision on how it will be implemented will be reached by June or July.
While it has been a “really difficult time” for program participants, the good news is that the pause in service has opened up opportunities that could change how the program is handled and make it much better, Mayor Lempert said. Robert Hough, the town’s director of Infrastructure and Operations, said the plan is for the town to collect the organic food waste. The town will buy a truck and make improvements at the Princeton Sewer Operating Committee site on River Road to accommodate the program. “I am 99 percent sure that’s the way it is going to go,” Hough said.
Hough said arrangements are being made to meet with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to review the proposal. State officials seem to like it because it is food waste – not trash – that is being recycled. But if the River Road site is not acceptable, the backup plan calls for hauling the organic food waste to Double Brook Farm in Hopewell Township, Hough said.
Matt Wasserman, president of Sustainable Princeton’s board of directors, outlined several options under consideration for handling the waste – from acquiring Metlife Stadium’s unused biodigester, to a rocket composter, windrow composting at Double Brook Farm in cooperation with Cherry Valley Cooperative farm, and the bokashi fermentation method. The Metlife biodigester is most attractive to the town, because Metlife Stadium management would “gift” it to Princeton, Hough said.