Compost pickup reaches New York's suburbs

Town of Bethlehem compost
© Empire Zero

Just a few weeks after Mayor Bloomberg announced an expansion of the compost pickup program, the trend is also gaining momentum outside of the city's limits.

The Town of Bethlehem, NY, is getting its own curbside pickup program thanks to Empire Zero, a waste hauling company. For a weekly fee with of $5.00, customers are provided two 5 gallon buckets for food scraps which are emptied once weekly.

According to a press release, it's one of the first suburbs in New York state to have such a program:

“We are very pleased that Empire Zero chose to begin its residential pilot in the Town of Bethlehem due to the interest shown by our residents. I believe this is the first curbside residential food waste composting service in the state in a suburban community, and one of the first programs in any community state-wide,” said Town Recycling Coordinator, Dan Rain. “Now those households who don’t have the time or space for backyard composting have a convenient curbside pickup option.”
At the end of each month, customers get back a bucket of compost to fertilize their yards or potted plants. "Empire Zero tries to partner with local compost facilities as well in order to keep the loop as local as possible," said Tyler Q. Holloway, who works for the company.

A pilot program of 18 households began last week and the service will be available to the entire town starting on July 15th. Rain told TreeHugger that 50 more families have contacted Empire Zero about participating in the expanded program. While not a municipal program, the city is working with Empire Zero to educate residents about the program and the benefits of composting.

Compost pickup reaches New York's suburbs
The Town of Bethlehem tests out a weekly composting service.