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Collection Program Evaluation and Ongoing Education

After the program has launched, there is a need to continuously evaluate the following metrics to determine the success of your program: 1. Participation (sign-ups and set-outs) 2. Contamination 3. Capture rates of compostable items Understanding participation, contamination and capture rates will also help update educational materials to continue to improve participation, diversion and reduce contamination. A little more detail on each of these continuous evaluation metrics are described below:

  • Participation
    Participation in a program can have two meanings, one is the number of households signed up to participate (in an opt-in program), the other is the percent of those households signed up that are regularly setting their collection container out for pickup. Sign-up rates A sign-up rate is the percent … Read more
  • Contamination
    Understanding how much contamination and what the most common contaminants are is instrumental to reducing contamination in a food scrap and other organics composting program. Reducing contamination at the source is key to selling the finished product. There are various ways to track contamination in a program. Some of which … Read more
  • Capture rate
    Performing a capture rate study is a good way to evaluate how well participants are doing at diverting all compostable materials from their homes. To accurately measure the capture rate of all compostable materials, sorting garbage, recycling, and organics is needed. Food scraps and other compostable items can end up … Read more
  • Compost use equipment
    Making sure compost produced from your program is used is necessary to fully close the loop and have a successful program.  If material isn’t used quickly enough, there won’t be enough space left on the pad for collections. Public works projects, parks, and community gardens are great options to use … Read more
  • Education and Outreach
    Having an expert to design your education program is a plus for municipalities without large public works staff teams. Several have issued bids looking for consultants to design these programs. Refer to these RFPs for ideas about these services. (This is not an endorsement of the RFPs listed, but serves … Read more
  • Collection & Processing Combined
    If you’re a municipality who wants to contract with a company for hauling and collection as well as facility operation, these RFPs could be helpful to you. There are USCC members who can help with the entire process. (This is not an endorsement of the RFPs listed, but serves as … Read more
  • Collection or Consolidation
    Collection alone, or consolidation of collection locations are another way of handling organics collection. These documents feature some element of this process. (This is not an endorsement of the RFPs listed, but serves as an example for drawing up your own procurement documents).
  • Pests and Organics Collection
    One of the most common arguments some use when municipalities are considering adding organics recycling routes and programs is rodents! But it’s also one of the most easily answered, if you simply use logic: organics recycling doesn’t bring new food to rats, mice and other pests—they were already there when … Read more
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