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Composting will help cut waste and promote a clean environment in Central New York

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency’s (OCRRA) Amboy compost site, where we discussed their efforts to cut waste in our community. After becoming a pilot location for food composting, OCRRA upgraded its facility at the Amboy site to compost over 9,000 tons of commercial and institutional food waste every year, generating 30,000 cubic yards of compost. Instead of filling up landfills and potentially harming our environment, the waste that makes this compost goes toward creating healthier, nutrient-rich soil to grow great local produce and cut greenhouse gas emissions. It can also help improve stormwater controls, keeping our community safe.

OCRRA helps local businesses, including restaurants and manufacturers, as well as institutions such as schools, universities and hospitals, by creating plans to reduce trash volume, saving money on garbage hauling costs. It also provides businesses with training on proper food waste disposal as part of the compost program. Businesses that partner with OCRRA to reduce their trash and compost their waste also demonstrate to the community that they are taking steps to help protect the environment, potentially attracting new customers.

In addition to helping businesses, OCRRA helps residents with services and information on composting and recycling. For a $15 fee, households can purchase a season pass that allows unlimited drop off of yard waste for composting, and allows customers to pick-up up to 6 cubic yards of compost or mulch for their own use at home. The Amboy facility also employs workers from Arc of Onondaga to bag compost for sale through retail establishments like Gravina’s in Liverpool. This program is just one of the many ways we can all limit our impact on the environment and help clean up our community.

Fighting to limit waste and protecting our environment are vitally important to ensuring our children and future generations can enjoy the beautiful scenic landscapes Central New York has to offer. I’ve made it a top priority to help ensure that our community has the resources it needs to go green. Earlier this year, I hosted electronics recycling events, ensuring that old, unwanted electronics are properly recycled.

Together, we can take steps to help sustain and protect our environment. Visit ocrra.org for more information on the programs and services they provide, as well as information on what you can do at home to help cut waste. If you have any questions on this or any other community issue, you can reach my office at 452-1115, or at StirpeA@assembly.state.ny.us.

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