COVID-19 has brought changes to Westporters’ relationships with food.
Supermarkets look and feel different. Some people avoid shopping inside altogether. More than we know rely on free food sources.
Few people, however, realize that 20% of Connecticut’s residential trash is food waste. Sustainable Westport challenges all residents to decrease that amount. Pippa Bell Ader offers these thoughts:
Start by getting to know the food you waste, and how to make the most of the food you have. Compost leftover food scraps, either at home, by paying a hauler to pick up your scraps, or trying the new, free food scraps recycling drop-off area at the transfer station beginning July 6.
Also, consider helping out with food rescue for those who are food insecure.
Webinars provide information on how to do all of this. The Westport Library, Earthplace and Sustainable Westport have partnered to inform the community about the Zero Food Waste Challenge. They include:
- Eat More with Less (June 10, 4 p.m.)
Learn about changes to make in planning and preparing meals, and preserving food. Bridgeport-based Chef Raquel, a cooking educator and caterer, will guide participants through practical and actionable food tips and tricks.
- Composting Basics with Alice Ely, master composter (June 15, 3 p.m.)
To turn over a new leaf and decrease food waste, turn over some compost. Learn how to save water, reduce pollution and improve your garden, by making “black gold” at home.
- Town of Westport Food Scraps Recycling (June 17, 3 p.m.) All you need to know about this new, free program. Find out what can and can’t be recycled.
Backyard composting is great. But if you lack the time, resources or energy to dispose of food scraps that way, you can still do your part for the environment.
On July 6, Westport launches a food scrap recycling program at the transfer station at 300 Sherwood Island Connector. All food scraps and some more will be welcome: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, bread, rice, pasta, raw and cooked food, cut flowers, coffee grounds (and paper filters), paper tea bags, napkins, paper towels, wax paper and more. Click here and scroll down for a complete list.
Just collect food scraps and other items. (No tissues, please).Bring them in a lidded transportation bin to the transfer station’s specially marked “food scrap drop-off area.”
From the transfer station, material is taken to a commercial composting facility, where it’s turned into compost.
“Starter kits” are not required, but they make it easy. They include a countertop pail, storage and transportation bin, and compostable bags. A kit costs $25 (income-eligible discounts available), and can be picked up at Earthplace.
To order a kit, email ZeroWaste@SustainableWestport.org (put “Starter Kit” in the subject heading), or call 203-293-6320 and leave a message.
The transfer station is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m. to 12 noon. Try to avoid drop-off on Saturdays and Mondays, the busiest times at the station.
Questions about any aspect of the Zero Food Waste Challenge? Click here, or email ZeroWaste@SustainableWestport.org