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Changes to Food Scraps Recycling Program Take Place This Week

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Changes to Food Scraps Recycling Program Take Place This Week

Monday, March 28, 2016

Changes to Tompkins County’s highly-successful food scraps recycling program are set to take effect this Friday, April 1st.

The only materials accepted in the program will be food items, paper napkins and towels, and compostable bin liners.

All plastics and food-soiled paper will no longer be accepted by Trumansburg-based Cayuga Compost. This includes disposable products made of paper and “compostable” plastics such as cups and plates.

Bobby Seymour, the Operations Manager at Cayuga Compost, explained “the elimination of plastic contaminants in compost will help contribute to sustaining a healthy local ecosystem.”

“The changes apply to both the residential and business sectors and are intended to ensure a high-quality finished compost product,” said Solid Waste Division Manager Barbara Eckstrom.

“We understand this change will likely have a greater impact on businesses than residents,” said Kat McCarthy, the County’s Waste Reduction and Recycling Specialist. “We are developing signs for local businesses to use that explain acceptable items for composting, recycling, and trash. We also encourage the community to shift to reusable or recyclable packaging and food serviceware whenever possible. For example, if you plan on eating on the go, remember to bring a reusable mug and containers with you,” she added.

There are seven residential food scraps recycling drop spots around Tompkins County. In 2015, combined with what was collected from the business sector, over 3,400 tons of food scraps and other organic materials were diverted from the landfill.

For more information on food scraps recycling in Tompkins County, visit