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Buffalo is launching a food waste composting program to limit waste in landfills

Posted: 6:02 PM, Apr 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-22 22:11:13Z

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates we throw away 30 to 40 percent of our food. That's about $161 billion worth of food that ends up in landfills every year.

But now the city of Buffalo is looking to do its part to change that, by launching its very own food waste collection program.

All your leftover fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg and nut shells will go to the Buffalo River Compost site on Ensign Street.

"We grind up all the wood and mix that in a carbon-nitrogen ratio, with some fruits and vegetables and monitor all the chemical components of that and with time, turn it into a finished compost product," said Brian Murphy, owner of Buffalo River Compost.

Last summer, the city partnered with the Massachusetts Avenue Project and launched a pilot program.

People were able to drop off their food waste, and as a result, nearly 2,000 pounds of food waste were kept out of landfills.

It's the definition of recycling and coming full circle.

"In theory, if everything came from the city and the city turned around and purchased the products," said Murphy. "Then we put it back out into site development projects, bio-retention ponds, habitat projects and even people's landscapes and their gardens, it's what we all need to strive for is zero waste."

Buffalo River Compost already accepts all the city's green waste, like Leaves, Christmas trees, trees, brush and shrubs.

And now they'll accept even more as the city is looking have five drop-off locations now instead of one.

The program only accepts vegetable and fruit scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, egg and nut shells.

The city is looking to work with Natural Upcycling LLC to provide food waste collection services at the five locations.

Those locations will be determined by the Department of Public Works.