Letter to the Editor: Sign Up Now for Free Drop Off Food Waste Disposal

Submitted by Chris Rabinowitz

Something’s rotting in Bedford and the culprit is likely in your kitchen right there under the sink – PU. It’s the rotting food waste you toss after each meal, or from the fridge, or the scraps from the kids’ lunchboxes. The average amount of food waste we toss weekly is 8-9 lbs per household, or approximately 18-20 tons per week that Bedford incinerates.

But we have alternatives. About 21% of our residents compost veggie waste in their backyards. Curbside food waste disposal is more inclusive [Link] and is used by 349 Bedford residences. In response to several requests for a more affordable alternative to turn food waste into black gold, Liz Antanavica, our new Recycling Administrator, obtained a grant to start a pilot program for DROP OFF food waste disposal at the Carlisle Road facility. It is FREE for all Bedford residences. The program uses Black Earth Compost, the same company that does curbside pick-up in town. The bins are open to any Bedford resident who registers at the DPW website (https://www.bedfordma.gov/484/Food-Waste).  In order for this program to continue, more people need to sign on. 

After falling on ice while going to our backyard compost heap, I wanted to sign up for curbside composting. My husband unenthusiastically conceded to try it. We signed up with Black Earth, received the cute little green compost bin, invested in a countertop bin, and started disposing our bones, shells, meat scraps, left over sauce, veggie scraps, greasy pizza boxes, eggshells, moldy cheese, tea bags, and coffee grounds. What sold my husband was that we no longer had leaky bags or that stinky garbage smell in the kitchen.

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Not convinced that this is for you or that your house generates that much food waste? Here’s a challenge: Get out a 3-5 quart metal or glass container with a cover, put all your organic food waste in it for a week. Keep it within easy reach of the food prep area.  You’ll probably fill it 3-5 times during the week. Dump your food waste into a larger container (5-gallon bucket) and weigh it at the end of the week. Of course, you can toss it in the trash. OR if you discover that disposing of your food waste sustainably by composting was easier than you thought, sign up for the DROP OFF food waste program soon. And enjoy that breath of fresh clean air in your kitchen!

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The opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are those of the writer, not The Bedford Citizen.

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