TOLEDO, OH – The City of Toledo today announced the launch of its new food waste composting program, a project aimed at tackling environmental challenges like climate change and sustainable waste management. Supported by the One Percent for the Environment funding, this initiative is a collaborative effort involving Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful (KTLCB), Metroparks Toledo, GoZERO, and Toledo City Council Members Nick Komives, Theresa Gadus, and Sam Melden.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) estimates that a staggering 63 million tons of food waste find their way into landfills every year, with nearly half originating from individual households. In Ohio, landfills are burdened with up to 17% of food waste, making it one of the most prevalent components of everyday garbage.
“The average household in America wastes an estimated 40% of their food. This means that for every three bags of groceries purchased at the store, at least one full bag is wasted,” Adam Cassi, Executive Director of Keep Toledo/Lucas County Beautiful, said. “Taking food waste and sealing it up in landfills traps nutrients, preventing them from being used again. Food waste is a resource, one that can be recycled into compost and reused to grow new crops.”
“As food waste breaks down in landfills, it releases methane, which is responsible for approximately 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This needs to change and that is why Toledo is stepping up to start this food waste composting pilot,” Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said.
The city is allocating $35,000 from the general fund to cover costs for the installation of the collection bins at the three designated Metroparks and to haul the waste away. The city has partnered with GoZERO Services for a one-year trial program. GoZERO Services is an industrial food waste composting company that will pick up the food waste from the Metropark drop-off sites in the Toledo city limits. Once collected, GoZERO will transfer the food waste to EPA-certified facilities. At those facilities, the waste will be converted into compost that can be repurposed.
Drop-off Sites are:
“I’m super excited to get this composting initiative off the ground,” Council Member Nick Komives said. “By diverting food waste from landfills and converting it into valuable compost, we are collectively contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and extending the lifespan of our landfills.”
Keep Toledo Lucas County Beautiful will host educational workshops at each drop-off location:
Residents who are interested in participating in the program can reach out to KTLCB at ktlcb.org for educational materials on the program and to get instructions on how to receive a food waste composting bucket.
“Anything we can do as a community to reduce waste coming to our landfill is a benefit. Together with Toledo City Council, the Toledo Metroparks, and KTLCB, the city is moving forward with efforts to make food waste recycling easier and more convenient for our residents,” Megan Robson, Director of the Department of Public Service, said.
Residents can drop off acceptable compost items at Swan Creek, Glass City, and Toledo Botanical Gardens Metroparks. Stay tuned for more information about correct recycling and composting workshops hosted by Keep Toledo Lucas County Beautiful.
The City Kicks Off Its Food Waste Composting Program – City of Toledo