Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board and Waste Free Greenwich, in partnership with the Department of Public Works, Conservation Commission and Greenwich Green & Clean, are organizing a municipal food scrap recycling pilot for the Town of Greenwich. The planned April launch has been delayed until further notice in response to COVID-19. However, First Selectman Fred Camillo remains committed to the program, announcing, “We will get this going as soon as we can. The official opening is just going to be delayed a little.” Over 20 food scrap recycling programs have been implemented in surrounding communities in Fairfield & Westchester Counties, and soon Greenwich will join these municipalities to reduce waste, conserve resources and save money.
Food scraps are one of the largest components of trash sent to incinerators and landfills. In Connecticut, food waste accounts for more than 22% of municipal solid waste, up from 13.5% in 2010, according to CT DEEP.
When food scraps are trashed, all the resources to bring food from farm to fork are lost, along with the expenses associated with their collection and disposal. However, recycling food scraps into compost captures nutrients and energy and returns them to the environment. The act of composting can also help change habits. As residents begin to separate their food waste from the rest of their garbage, they become more aware of how much food they toss, prompting them to buy less. Ultimately, this can lead to less garbage collected and potentially lower waste management expenses.
The drop-off food scrap recycling pilot will be voluntary and free to all Greenwich residents. It’s easy – just check out this quick video on the “How, What and Why” of food scrap recycling.
1. COLLECT your food scraps in a kitchen collection container. Although not required, you may line the container with a compostable or paper bag - please no plastic bags. It is preferable that compostable bags are twisted, not knotted, to reduce problems in processing. Compostable bags are available for purchase (25 bags for $2/roll) through Greenwich Green & Clean (203-531-0006). If purchased elsewhere, bags must be BPI certified.
2. TRANSFER food scraps from the countertop pail once full to a larger bin for weekly storage. Most residents will fill the countertop pail 3-4 times per week. This larger bin can also be used for transportation of food scraps to Holly Hill. Anything that holds around 5-6 gallons and has a lid will work. It is recommended that food storage bins be kept indoors – either in the house or in the garage.
3. BRING your transportation bin to the Food Scrap Recycling drop-off site at Holly Hill to dispose of your food scraps as often as needed.
The Food Scrap Recycling drop is located at the Holly Hill Resource Recovery Facility. The drop-off site is open during hours of operation (Monday-Friday 7am-2:30pm; Saturday 7am-noon). There is no charge to drop off food scraps, but you must have a permit available at Holly Hill to use the facility.
All food, including:
Fruits & vegetables
Meat & poultry
Fish & shellfish
Rice & grains
Chips & snacks
Nuts & seeds
Leftover, spoiled & expired food (cooked ok)
Other items (if in doubt, ask before contaminating your food scrap recyclables):
Coffee grounds (paper filters ok)
Tea bags (no staples)
Napkins & paper towels (food spoiled only, no chemical cleaners)
Cut flowers & house plants
BPI-certified compostable bags.
No plastic bags, plastic packaging & wrappers. Plastic does not biodegrade & will contaminate compost. Use only BPI-certified compostable bags, paper bags or no bags.
No bio-plastic or compostable food service ware.
No baby, hand or cleaning wipes. They are synthetic, do not biodegrade and contaminate the compost.
No pet waste.
Although they are not required to participate, food scrap recycling “starter kits” make it easy. Kits are $20 each (cash or checks payable to Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board) and include one 2-gallon countertop pail, one 6-gallon home storage and transportation bin and one roll of 25 compostable bags.
Starter kits can be purchased at:
In response, a Waste Free Greenwich team member will call or email to arrange delivery and payment of starter kits. In an abundance of caution, social distancing will be practiced for delivery, and instruction will be conducted over the phone. Kits will be delivered and payment should be left in prearranged location to avoid physical interaction. Thank you for respecting these guidelines!
** Due to concerns about COVID-19 outreach events and sales will be postponed until further notice. Please check the Waste Free Greenwich website - firstname.lastname@example.org - for updates. **