Providence Launches Compost Collection Hubs

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — Neighborhood composting is underway, as three sites across the city have begun accepting food scrap for a pilot compost-collection program.

The West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA) held an orientation Aug. 7 for residents who registered for the program. Some 50 West Side residents applied for 25 spots. Front Step Farm on Almy Street is hosting the West Side compost collection site.

Frey Florist & Greenhouse on Radcliffe Avenue is hosting the compost site for residents in the Smith Hill neighborhood. A third site is being managed by the West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation on Dexter Street.

Participants receive a small countertop bucket to collect kitchen scraps and a larger 5-gallon bucket to drop off at their collection site.

The city’s Office of Sustainability oversees the compost hubs through its Lots of Hope neighborhood garden program, which received its funding through a grant from The Rhode Island Foundation. Neighborhood volunteers manage the processing of the residential food scrap.

Sheila Dormody, the city’s sustainability director, plans to open the sites to additional residents and hopes to add neighborhood collection hubs. “The goal is to include more people and expand to more locations when we look at what works,” she said.

A 2010 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study found that food scrap is the largest type of municipal waste sent to landfills. Only 3 percent of U.S. food scrap is composted.