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The Town of Bethlehem recently received $240K from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to help divert food scraps from the landfill to the town’s compost operation. This will help Bethlehem’s compost facility expand with the purchase of equipment and paving a dedicated portion of the facility.
Food scraps represent about 30% of the waste stream, so diverting them helps reduce waste disposal costs and preserve diminishing landfill capacity in the region.
And composting has big positive impacts on climate change. For example, according to a 2017 report by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), if just the largest generators in the state (those supermarkets, colleges, large restaurants, event venues etc. that produce more than 2 tons/week of food waste) diverted this material from landfills, “greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 175,448 metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking 37,093 cars off the road. This would help the state reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.”