Eugene tosses 40 million pounds of food into the local landfill each year. About half of this food waste comes from homes. Reducing food waste will keep Oregon beautiful for future generations. Residential food waste collection reduces waste sent to the landfill which decreases greenhouse gas emissions, and helps achieve statewide and local waste reduction goals. Beginning October 1, 2019, customers who have residential garbage service will have the option to put food waste in their yard debris bin instead of in the garbage. This citywide program comes after a successful three-year residential curbside food waste collection pilot program that included 1,500 households in four Eugene neighborhoods. The mixed food waste and yard debris will be turned into nutrient-rich compost by local processors.
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Beginning October 1, 2019, customers who have residential garbage service will have the option to put food waste in their yard debris bin instead of in the garbage. This citywide program comes after a successful three-year residential curbside food waste collection pilot program that included 1,500 households in four Eugene neighborhoods. The mixed food waste and yard debris will be turned into nutrient-rich compost by local processors. Yard debris is a service already provided by garbage haulers and these same containers will continue to be collected every-other-week. No other changes to your hauling services are anticipated at this time.
Beginning October 1, 2019, customers who have residential garbage service will have the option to put food waste in their yard debris bin instead of in the garbage. The combined food waste and yard debris collected will be sent to local commercial composting facilities. These facilities use a specialized process to break down organic matter, creating nutrient-rich compost.
Love Food Not Waste™ compost can be purchased in bags at local retailers, such as Jerry's, Bi-Mart, Down to Earth, and BRING. It can also be purchased in bags or in bulk from Rexius.
The program will not have an additional cost for participants. The food waste collection service will be included with the cost of current yard debris service. Participation is encouraged but not required.
All food can be composted, including meat, bones, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggshells, beans, bread, pasta, rice and other grains, fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, and other plate scrapings. If you can eat it, you can put it in the bin. All yard debris like lawn trimmings, leaves, and other plant material will continue to be accepted. To create quality compost at the end of the food waste recycling process, it needs to be free of non-compostable material, like plastic, freezer boxes, napkins, pet waste, diapers, glass, treated wood, or other garbage and non-plant materials. Even items such as utensils, plates, and bowls that are labeled as compostable or non-food items that are labeled biodegradable are not allowed in the food waste/yard debris bin. Please be sure to remove stickers from produce as well, as they don’t break down at the composting center. To keep the compost “clean,” we ask that customers include only food waste and yard debris in their bins.
We recommend a relatively small, sealable container be stored under your kitchen sink, on the counter, or anywhere that makes it easy to use while preparing food or cleaning up after a meal. Be sure to empty your container regularly into your yard debris bin.
Clean your container regularly with soap and water. You can also sprinkle baking soda at the bottom of your container and food waste/yard debris bin to reduce odors.
Continue to compost in your backyard! Composting turns yard trimmings and vegetative food scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendment for your garden. With this program, you can put items in your bin that should not go in your backyard compost pile like meat, bones, dairy, and grains.
In cities such as Seattle and Portland, they found that the curbside collection doesn’t attract pests any more than garbage collection does. The same proved true during Eugene's three year pilot program. The yard debris bin provided by your garbage hauler is designed to be heavier and more difficult for animals to open, as long as the lid remains closed.
As long as your kitchen container and outside food waste/yard debris bin are properly maintained, there should be minimal or no odor issues. To prevent odor issues you can: •Drain excess liquids from your food scraps down the sink. •Shut the lid of your kitchen container and food waste/yard debris bin when you don’t use it. •Refrigerate or freeze smelly food scraps in a container or zipper-top bag until collection day. •Rinse or wash with soap and water your kitchen container after emptying it into your food waste/yard debris bin. •Clean your yard debris bin regularly with soap and water (make sure this is done in a grassy or gravel area so residue does not go into the street and storm drain). •Maintain a good mix of yard debris and food scraps in your bin, when possible. •Store containers in a shady area if possible. •Even if your food waste/yard debris bin isn’t very full, be sure to bring it to the curb for every collection day.