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Collection Program Planning

There are several key issues that need to be decided before proceeding with an organics recycling program.

  • Determining goals
    With growing public and private sector support for recycling, states and local governments are making commitments to increase their recycling rates. Organics are often identified as the one of the largest portion of the recycling stream and the single largest component of municipal solid waste (MSW). Sorts have found that…
  • Solid waste plans
    Organics recycling aligns with the vision of sustainable materials management used in many state’s solid waste policy and local municipal solid waste plans, or more commonly known as materials management plans. Materials management plans often use the three principles of sustainability – economic vitality, ecological integrity and improved quality of…
  • Business plan and community engagement
    Developing a business plan or community outreach program is essential to a resilient organics recycling program and sustainable composting operation. A good starting point is engaging the community to get all stakeholders involved and help them understand composting operations, the benefits and potential costs and begin to educate residents on…
  • How organics will be managed
    Public vs. Private vs. Partnership An important decision for communities is to consider the business model and level of infrastructure, operational involvement, control and cost they want to undertake if structured as a public utility. Common models for municipal composting programs include: Publicly owned and operated facility Privately owned and…
  • Determining collection method
    Understanding local infrastructure Understanding the local infrastructure and compost site operations can help narrow down how you choose to collect food scraps and other organics. Some questions to answer include: 1. Does the compost site have capacity to accept more materials? If yard waste only compost site, can the facility…
  • Sign up and participation options
    After determining which collection method will be used and where the material will go, determining how to roll-out the program to residents will affect the overall program costs. Some communities give containers to all residents to participate, some communities only give containers to those who sign-up for the program. Billing…
  • Education and promoting your program
    Residential education is key to a successful food scraps and other organics diversion program. At the start of a program education is necessary to explain: What organics recycling is Why it’s important How to participate (and sign up) What is and is not accepted What is included Initial program education…

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