Resource

Compost Pilot Program

Compost Pilot Program

The City has launched a one-year residential and commercial Compost Pilot Program to help reduce the amount of food waste being sent to landfills. Composting is a sustainable alternative to disposing of food waste that turns the material into rich, healthy soil. Participants will receive a 5-gallon bucket with a lid, a sticker displaying the list of acceptable food waste, and a guide listing program information.

All collected food waste will be taken to a certified compost facility. Those interested in utilizing this service are encouraged to review the list of acceptable items below to minimize the amount of contamination. Site usage, tonnage collected, contamination issues, and cost will be monitored during the program with an associated program recommendation to be provided in 2022. Links for registration can be found using the links under each program heading. For additional questions, please contact the Zero Waste Program Coordinator at zerowaste@ferndalemi.gov.

Please note: Registration is currently closed for the residential program, as the program has reached a maximum capacity of 400 participants. Thank you to everyone that registered! If you would be interested in participating in a City-wide drop-off program, please fill out this survey to show your support and help us collect information.

Program Details

Not all items are accepted into the compost program. View the list below to see what you can and cannot add to the compost bins.

Acceptable items

   ·  Fruits and vegetables

   ·  Raw and cooked meat, bones, and dairy

   ·  Baked goods and pasta

   ·  Fats and sugars

   ·  Greasy pizza boxes

   ·  Paper towels and napkins (unlined paper items)

   ·  BPI Certified Materials

Non-acceptable items

   ·  Yard waste

   ·  Pet waste

   ·  Plastic bags

   ·  Electronics

   ·  Healthcare products

   ·  Stone, glass, and metal

   ·  Styrofoam

   ·  Traditional plastics


Residential Program

Registration is currently closed for the residential program, as the program has reached a maximum capacity of 400 participants. Thank you to everyone that registered! If you would be interested in participating in a City-wide drop-off program, please fill out this survey to show your support and help us collect information.

Locations

Five residential drop-off locations are open daily from dawn to dusk. You can bring your container of organic material to any of these locations and place the contents of your container into the bin. The drop-off area and containers are marked with instructions.

  • Geary Park (1198 Earle Blvd)
  • Martin Road Park (1615 E Lewiston Ave)
  • Wilson Park (1280 Hilton Rd & University St)
  • Kulick Center (1201 Livernois St)  
  • Withington Parking Lot (159 Withington St)

Food waste may NOT be left around the containers. For this program to function properly, we must work together to keep these drop-off areas clean. If you arrive at a drop-off location and see a mess, please report the incident to SeeClickFix.

Business Program

The City's Compost Pilot is looking for businesses that are interested in collecting and composting food waste. If you are a business owner or qualified employee and are interested in signing up for the program, please register here.

Participation in the program is free and voluntary. 64-gallon compost bins will be serviced in the compactor area (the same as the recycling carts). Committing to the pilot program includes completing a 6-month program survey in April and a post-program survey in the Fall of 2022. To reduce your waste most effectively, businesses, especially restaurants, should compost both pre and post-consumer waste. This means both the scraps from cooking and the waste from customers’ meals.

Types of Compost Waste:

  • Pre-Consumer (“Kitchen Waste”): This is due to overproduction, spoilage, expiration, trim waste, contamination, burned/dropped, and controlled by kitchen staff.
  • Post-Consumer (“Plate Waste”): This is due to behaviors, portion sizes, self-service, and controlled by guests.

Questions?

For additional questions about the program, please contact the Zero Waste Program Coordinator at zerowaste@ferndalemi.gov.

FAQs

Why should I compost?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that in 2018, more food reached landfills and combustion facilities than any other single material in our everyday trash. To help reduce the amount of food waste being sent to landfills, the City of Ferndale has launched a Residential Organic Waste Drop-Off Program. Drop-off will begin November 3, 2021, and will run for one year. Any Ferndale Resident may participate by registering using the QR code on this postcard.

I registered for the compost pilot program. What happens now?

Those that receive the program materials after registration must complete the pre-program, six-month, and post-program surveys to provide the City with feedback about the pilot program. Residents are encouraged to use a lidded bucket to transport household food waste to the site. Residents may use any bucket/container they choose but must take the container home after dumping the contents.

What goes in my compost bucket?

It is important to only include the acceptable materials to be sure there is no contamination in the bins. Please view the list below to see what you can and cannot compost.

How can I reduce my amount of food waste?

In the US, an average person wastes 238 pounds of food per year (21% of the food they buy), costing them $1,800 per year. This estimate represents the single largest material in our everyday trash being sent to landfills and combustion facilities in the United States (per the EPA Sustainable Food Management page). To help reduce the amount of food being landfilled, it is important to reduce the food waste that is created. A great resource for examining your purchasing and food preparation habits is the Save the Food website.

What are BPI-certified materials?

BPI® is short for Biodegradable Products Institute. BPI® is a non-profit association that is the largest certification program for compostable products and packaging in North America established to provide testing, education, and promotion of compostable products. BPI® ensures that any product that carries its logo(see reverse side of this postcard for logo) meets the standard and specifications required to be compostable. Their goal is to promote best practices for the diversion and recovery of compostable materials through municipal and commercial composting.

You are allowed to line your bucket with a bag, however:

  • Bags MUST be BPI certified so they can break down properly with the organic waste
  • The bags must be labeled as “BPI CERTIFIED”, as not all biodegradable bags are accepted in this program
  • To find out what bags are BPI certified, visit the following link: https://bpiworld.org/ and search by brand or product

Can I still compost without registering for the program?

Yes, residents should consider composting at their homes if they can. Composting at home is more sustainable than a drop-off or curbside program because it minimizes the need for transport. The City has educational resources to help residents begin composting here.

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