FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) —The city of Fayetteville is taking steps to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill.
Bottles, cardboard, and aluminum cans are not the only items Fayetteville residents can drop off at the recycling center. They can now bring their food waste to two locations: the Marion Orton Recycling Center, 735 W North Street, and the City Compost and Mulch Facility.
Local resident Kyle McCarty said, “we are excited to not have to compost in our backyard and still have an outlet to reduce waste.”
McCarty said he’s been recycling for more than a decade and makes it a family affair. “The kids enjoy doing it. We have separate recycling other than our trash can at home.”
The residential food drop off program launched January 2nd and is part of the city’s goal to divert 40% of all waste sent to the landfill by 2027.
Acceptable food waste includes fruits, vegetables, dairy, bread, and cooked meats to name a few.
“I tell people if you can eat it, you can compost it.” Environmental Educator Heather Ellzey said getting started is pretty easy. “Keep a bucket at home either a small one or a large 5-gallon bucket under your sink or in your garage and start collecting those scraps and bring it out once a week.”
The waste is picked up three times a week and brought to the compost facility to be treated. Crews use a row turner to blend the food waste with the yard waste. Once blended all of the mold and fungus create heat within the row to help break it all down. It then sits at 130 degrees to cook and in 30 days, it is turned over once more.
When ready you have nutrient-rich compost that you can sprinkle onto your garden. The compost can be purchased at $35 a truckload.
McCarty said he is just glad to be able to do all of his recycling at one location. “It actually saves a whole lot of space so we are glad to reduce a lot of weight now with the food waste.”