CANTON — In the two years since the village’s pilot compost program was launched, food scraps have collected under a small shelter on outer Lincoln Street.
The town and village joint Sustainability Committee anticipates the program will continue with the drop-off system unchanged, but a new, behind-the-scenes partnership is being considered.
Funded by the village and launched in the spring of 2019 by the Sustainability Committee and the village Department of Public Works, the program was designed to offer a central site for residents and businesses to drop off kitchen waste and pick up composted material for home gardens and landscaping. The committee’s initial goal was to address the question: What is the most efficient way for Canton to compost?
The kitchen waste drop-off bin is situated next to the Canton Recreation Pavilion, and DPW crews have transported the waste from the collection point to the processing site south on Route 11. The village is now searching for a farm within about two miles of the drop-off site to pick up the food waste for its own use and composting.
Village Trustee Carol S. Pynchon, who serves on the Sustainability Committee, said a municipal compost program is still a worthwhile idea, though the DPW logistics and execution need to be reconfigured.
Other committee considerations for the program, she said on Tuesday, are in the “fledgling stages.”
Free composted material is still available to residents at the shelter, though the material is not the product of the collected food waste. Compost for pickup is a product of high-carbon materials from existing arrangements in the area, including from St. Lawrence University’s equestrian facilities and from Canton’s leaf and organic waste collections.
The Sustainability Committee recommends the material be used for mulch, top dressing for plants or as layering material for home compost bins.
The drop-off guidelines are the same and are posted on signs at the shelter. Most food scraps are acceptable: poultry and other meat, fish, shellfish, bones, eggs, eggshells, cheese, dairy products, bread, baked goods, pasta, rice, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit, coffee grounds, table scraps, plate scrapings and leftovers.
Prohibited waste includes household garbage, plastic, paper, packaging, fast food wrappers, takeout containers and wax paper.