North Bergen Earth Talks has held a grand opening ceremony at the James J. Braddock Community Garden to celebrate the new public compost drop-off site in partnership with Community Compost Co. and Hudson County.
Partners and community members gathered to cut the ribbon at the garden in Braddock Park on Aug. 29. Attendees were encouraged to bring their own compost to place in the bin after the ribbon cutting.
What to compost
The certified organic compost bin is now open to the public. Residents can collect food scraps in a container or bag and dispose of them in the community compost bin.
Permitted items include fruits; vegetables; meat; bones; dairy; seafood; grains; eggs and shells; coffee grounds; flowers; and some paper, including coffee filters, napkins, paper towels, uncoated paper plates, and teabags.
Prohibited items include plastic; metal; glass; chemicals; Styrofoam; liquids; grease; produce stickers; staples in teabags; compostable “plastics;” coated paper and molded fiber; diapers; tissues; menstrual products; and pet waste.
Protecting the Earth
Composting is a necessary step in preserving the environment, according to NB Earth Talks.
Approximately 22 percent of solid waste in New Jersey consists of food waste, some of which was edible at the time of disposal, according to nj.gov. Food waste disposed in landfills contributes to the release of greenhouse gases and also wastes natural resources and money.
By implementing compost through a community-based approach, NB Earth Talks aims to help protect the atmosphere, regulating temperatures and raising the incentive to value natural resources.
Involving the community
The bins are part of NB Earth Talks’ plan to get the community involved in protecting the environment.
“We have prioritized making the Braddock Park Public Compost Bin a reality to uplift the community in becoming an active part of restoring our local environment,” said a cofounder of North Bergen Earth Talks in a statement, asked to be identified only as ‘SexySustainability.’
“Most residents in Hudson County do not have the yard space to host a personal compost bin. Our community deserves to have access to divert their food waste through this community funded project.”
The bin is under a pilot program with Community Compost Co. until January, when the Hudson County Board of Commissioners will decide whether or not to continue the partnership. The more often the bin is used under the proper guidelines the better chance there is of getting more bins throughout the community, according to NB Earth Talks.
Making it happen
This project was completed in collaboration with NB Earth Talks, Community Compost Co., and the Hudson County Improvement Authority, including Amanda Nesheiwat, Tom Stampe, and Jonathan DeFilippio. NB Earth Talks worked with with Nesheiwat, Head of Food Waste Management in Hudson County, to generate the funding as well as Stampe and DeFilippio to contact Hudson County officials and create adequate signage.
They worked closely with compost collector and distributor, Community Compost Co., to bring the project to fruition. Community Compost Co. is a women-owned business founded by Eileen Banyra based in the Hudson Valley of NY and Northern New Jersey.
For help starting a community compost project, email NB Earth Talks at NBEarthTalks@gmail.com.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.