Portland Mayor proposes food scrap pick-up

Portland Mayor proposes food scrap pick-up

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by Jeff Thompson, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on August 5, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 5 at 10:49 PM

PORTLAND -- Mayor Sam Adams proposed new additions to Portland's composting program Friday, including curbside food scrap pick-up.

At a Friday event Adams explained the new service proposal and discussed the findings from a year-long, 2,000-family pilot project, which he called an overwhelming success.

"Each year, thousands of pounds of food scraps needlessly go to landfills when they could be turned into nutrient-rich compost," Adams said

Under the new system, residents would be given kitchen counter composting pails, which they could empty into their existing green roll carts, which are currently only used for yard debris. Compost would be picked up weekly and garbage would be collected every other week.

Many items not recommended for backyard composting, such as meat, bones, dairy and pizza delivery boxes, would be accepted in the green roll cart.

Reactions to the proposal were mixed.

"I love the composting program," Portland resident Tara Bloom told KG. "I use it regularly. But it would be a problem not to have my garbage picked up every week."

"It turns out because all the food is going into the compost bin our garbage doesn't stink," said Rachel Lipase, a participant in the pilot program. "And there's nothing left in it, so even at the end of two weeks our garbage can is never full."

Garbage generated in the pilot areas dropped by 30 percent.

The new proposal is set for a Portland City Council vote August 17. Program changes could roll October 31.

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