Plans are nearly complete for a new food waste collection program in the Quincy Public Schools. The program will begin as a pilot at one school this fall, expand to a second school in the spring, and continue to expand into more schools. The next step in the process is to hire a part-time K-12 Food Waste Diversion/Compost Program Manager, who will be tasked with managing the operation, conducting waste audits, and creating educational programs for students and staff. Applicants should apply online.
QCAN has encouraged the implementation of food waste collection for years. Several QCAN members served on the mayor’s task force created in 2018 to research curbside food waste pickup. The task force engaged in many fact-finding activities, including conducting interviews and onsite visits to learn how other food waste collection programs function. The results of their extensive research were compiled in a report that was submitted to the mayor’s office this spring and is tentatively scheduled for presentation to the City Council on November 21. Their report supports collecting food waste not only in the schools, but city-wide, as is done in Cambridge and several other towns and cities in the commonwealth.
Why collect food waste separately? Quincy’s trash is sent to an incinerator and burned as waste for energy. However, due to the high water content of food waste, burning it uses more energy than it creates — and that moisture also makes it heavy, adding extra expense to the city’s trash bill. Collecting and composting food scraps instead of throwing them out is a better alternative that benefits everyone, including the planet. It not only reduces how much the city will pay for trash removal, it puts the food waste to work, reinvesting those nutrients into our increasingly depleted topsoil. Food scraps can be made into compost that feeds our gardens so we can grow more food. How cool is that?Continue reading