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foodscraps 120The Tompkins County Solid Waste Division will soon sign a three year grant contract for a centralized transfer station to accept commercial food scraps at the Recycling and Solid Waste Center in Ithaca. Funding of $355,000 through the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program will go toward the project.

The work will include modifications to the RSWC, including demolition of an existing storage building to be replaced with a 40-foot by 60-foot tipping pad to accept food scraps. It is expected design work will be completed in 2017, with construction taking place in early 2018.

The County has had a residential food scraps recycling program for the past several years, with a public drop off at the Recycling and Solid Waste Center and a number of neighborhood drop spots around the County. The new transfer station will provide a centralized location for the material collected to be transported to Cayuga Compost in Trumansburg, where it's processed into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.

"We are excited to have received this funding," said Solid Waste Manager Barbara Eckstrom. "This addition to the Recycling and Solid Waste Center will represent an important step in the County's waste reduction efforts that could provide licensed haulers with a low-cost opportunity to deliver source-separated food scraps." She added "this is especially important in light of proposed state legislation banning commercial food scraps from landfills in 2021."

The Tompkins County Climate Smart Community award was one of several around the state highlighting food waste and composting initiatives.

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