The objective of the Community Composting Team is to create awareness around reducing food waste and to promote composting at home, at schools and other public institutions. We support education and coordination between community gardens and residents so that community garden sites, parks and other green spaces can become beneficiaries of healthy soil amendments created by recycling food waste.
Want to get involved? Contact us to discuss opportunities for participation. We hope that a network of community gardens & parks emerges to help in recycling neighborhood food scraps !!
A key component in creating awareness about recycling food has been a series of educational workshops. Stay tuned to our Event announcements if you want to learn more about this topic. General information about some of the approaches to composting is offered below, with more available on SJC’s Resources page.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – It works for food too!
Step 1 – REDUCE
The best way to prevent food waste is to be more conscious about the food we buy. Shopping lists and meal plans will not only reduce the amount of waste created, but save money as well.
Reference the EPA’s ‘Food Too Good to Waste’ Guide for more tips!
Step 2 – RE-USE
Utilizing leftovers saves both time and food – cutting down on prep time for the next meal and giving food a second life rather than tossing it out.
Step 3 – RECYCLE
Recycling food waste, a process better known as composting, allows you to take unused food items, either leftovers or items discarded in cooking prep, and turn them into rich organic material that can be used in gardens, flower beds, and soil restoration projects.
There are several options for composting. Please read ahead!
Option 1 – Compost at home
If you are fortunate to have access to a backyard or outdoor space, that is the perfect place to have a compost system.
Here are two containers that you can purchase. Both are ideal for on-site composting:
How does Backyard Composting work?
Creating a productive compost bin is all about managing the ratio of “greens” and “browns”. “Browns” is a nickname for materials rich in carbon, like leaves, dried grass, and wood chips; “greens” is a nickname for materials rich in nitrogen, like fruit and veggie scraps, fresh grass clippings and coffee grounds. Micro-organisms in the compost pile break down these materials as they feed, relying on a healthy mix of carbon and nitrogen for their optimal growth. The rule of thumb for this balance is two parts green to one part well-packed browns.
Option 2 – Find a Garden
Jersey City has over 20 community gardens! Take a look at our interactive map to see which one is closest to your neighborhood. You can contact that garden to see what composting opportunities they offer.
St. Paul’s P.E.A.C.E. Garden is operating a unique type of food recycling known as Bokashi, which uses activated microbes to break down food through fermentation. This is a great option for people in apartments without the outdoor space required for traditional composting. An added benefit is being able to recycle all forms of food waste, including meat, dairy, and oils.
Click here to learn more about this composting alternative.
- To get started with Bokashi right away, please email email@example.com or call 201-963-5518 to reach the main office of St. Paul’s, host to the PE.A.C.E. Garden. All you need to do is let them know you are coming by to pick up or drop off your bucket / bokashi starter, including your Bokashi Starter Kit. Generally speaking, appointment times are between 10am2pm Mon,Tues,Thurs, Fri and 37pm on Wed.
- If you have any questions about the Bokashi program before you get started in the bucket exchange program, you can contact the program manager here, please include Bokashi in the subjectline.
Option 3 – Sign up with a third party
If you are not in the proximity of a community garden and you wish to have your food scraps picked up, please check out our friends over at Community Compost Company who are back-hauling food scraps to farmers in the Hudson Valley. Their pick-up service is available to residences and businesses in Hoboken and Jersey City.
Much gratitude goes to Bokashi Master, Shig Matsukawa who is a key Education Partner for this pilot program at St. Paul’s.
- Food Too Good To Waste – May 2014
- Zero Waste Conference – November 2014
- Why WE Use COMPOST In Rain Gardens ?
Also, check out Brooklyn-based Vokashi, a small business in Brooklyn who has developed a social enterprise around recycling food scraps.
If your group is interested in Community Composting take the Community Composting Survey.