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Overview of questions that municipalities and compost facilities must address prior to implementing food scrap collection programs.
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What is the estimated tonnage per year needing to be processed (based on estimates or waste audits)?
- What method will be used to process the material…open windrow, aerated static pile (ASP), in-vessel or anaerobic digestion (AD)?
- Will the food scraps get sent to an anaerobic digester before composting?
- How will the fee structure be based? Tonnage, contamination rate thresholds, put or pay?
- Is the feedstock only residential material, or will the program be open to food scraps from the commercial sector too?
- Will the residents be given containers to collect their food scraps (i.e. kitchen pails and for the curbside carts)?
- What are the plans for ongoing education to increase participation and keep contamination to a minimum (e.g.. stickers,fridge magnets, printed media, website etc.)?
- Will certified compostable liners be allowed to help with the“yuck factor,” to address odor issues and increase participation?
- How will odor complaints from the composting facility be addressed?
- Will residents be encouraged to use a deodorizer in their bin?
- How will contamination be handled (both at the curb and at the composting facility)?\
- What percentage of contamination will be allowed?
- Will the MSW collection services encourage participation,and capture rates (e.g.. PAYT pricing, bi-weekly collection of trash and weekly collection of SSO, etc.)
- Will leaf and yard debris be allowed in the same bin as the food scrap?
- Are the local elected officials properly educated on the benefits of a residential SSO program? A tour of the composting facility (and landfill/incinerator) would be good.
- What are the markets for the finished compost? Will there be an opportunity for residents to purchase it or will it only be made for commercial customers such as golf courses, agricultural, landscaping, retail stores, etc.?
- Are private haulers being used, and if so are they on board for the program (e.g., will they help enforce contamination problems at the curb)?
- What changes might need to be made in the truck fleet to pick up SSO?
- How will lower tonnage going to the landfill/incinerator affect municipal contracts with haulers, landfill owners, etc. and how will that be handled to avoid potential conflict?
- If a pilot program was done, were the results made public?
- What is the mood of the local media towards the program and how will that be managed?
- Are you aware of the regulations governing organics processing and are you in compliance?
- Who is responsible for testing of the finished compost and how often will it be tested?