Apopka composting to save the city money – Letter to the Mayor
Please comment below if you are interested in making this a reality in Apopka, Florida.
I’ve been a resident of Apopka for over 14 years and have loved many of the great things our city has done. The city was early pioneers on getting new automatic trash and recycling trucks and bins, long before Orange County and others surrounding cities. Now I would love to see the city save even more money and help create a habit of reducing waste that goes into the garbage bins. I am friends with Chris Castro, Director of Sustainability at the City of Orlando. He got the City of Orlando on board with a plan to reduce how many tons are going into the Orange County Landfill from their garbage trucks by giving the option to residents to have an Earth Machine Composter. When purchased in bulk, the composters are about $33 each. They have a 10-year warranty on them. In 2-3 years, the composters will have diverted a ton per resident, if used. That means a saving of $33.60 for the city in that time and continual savings after that.
In the 2016-17 budget for Apopka, I see there is an estimated 15,600 tons of garbage from residential units that will go to the Orange County landfill. Imagine if you had 2,000 of these composters at households willing to help reduce garbage waste. You could save almost 750 tons of garbage from going to the landfill at $33.60 per ton. That’s a saving of $25,200 in one year. Imagine expanding the program to additional residents and commercial properties. In 2-3 years, the composter has paid for itself and will be a continual savings of about $13 per resident per year that uses the composter. With a 10-year warranty, it will save the city almost $91 per resident in landfill fees over its lifetime, in addition to paying for the unit at $33 each.
What can you do with the compost created?
Improve your garden, lawn, and trees with this enriched soil.
What can go into composters?
Fruits, vegetables, eggs shells, coffee grounds, grass clippings, shredded paper, shredded cardboard, hay, straw, nuts, bread, grains, yard trimmings, leaves, dryer link, hair, and fur.
As we teach our citizens about better ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, we can help make our city a better place to live and save lots of money in the long run.
There are great ideas around this for commercial use too, especially restaurants and businesses that have a lot of food waste.
I would love to share more about this. I would also invite Chris Castro to share some of their lessons learned and how to take next the steps in making this become a reality.
Below is a brochure the City of Orlando uses to promote composting and their website: