FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2023
Mayor Noble Launches Kingston Organics Program
Phase 1 of Voluntary Composting Program to Include 11 Drop-off Locations
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble is pleased to announce that the City of Kingston will launch Phase 1 of the Kingston Organics Program, a food waste diversion program, this summer. The program is free and voluntary for all City of Kingston residents.
In partnership with the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council, the Climate Smart Kingston Commission, and the Hudson Valley Regional Council, the Kingston Organics Diversion Plan, a feasibility study for diverting food waste was recently completed, which will help guide the Kingston Organics Program implementation. The Organics Diversion Plan provides strategies and best practices for allocating personnel and City budget to decrease greenhouse gas emissions produced by long-hauling waste, improving air and water quality locally and regionally.
Kingston Organics Phase 1 will launch in July with eleven Community Food Scrap Drop-off locations throughout Kingston. Registration will be required and is now open at Engage Kingston, where residents can choose a drop-off location, and can begin to bring food scraps to the location using their own container, starting in July. This service will be available year-round.
“The Kingston Organics Diversion Plan and the Kingston Organics Program demonstrates the City of Kingston’s commitment to improving our environmental and sustainability efforts, and the overall health and quality of life in our community. Composting programs have proven to reduce waste, decrease the impact of transportation for disposal, resulting in a meaningful reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Noble. “This forward-thinking plan puts Kingston at the forefront of innovative efforts that save municipalities money while helping our environment. When the financial benefits from a program exceed the implementation and operating costs, it is a total win.”
Food scraps will be gathered by the City at the drop-off locations and transported to a local composting facility for processing, diverting the material from being trucked hundreds of miles away to Seneca Meadows Landfill with the remainder of the municipal solid waste, saving tipping fees and greenhouse gas emissions associated with trucking. Reducing the amount of food waste that goes to the landfills can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in municipal garbage transportation/tipping fees. In 2020 alone, close to eight tons (15,500 pounds) of food waste from City of Kingston residents and small businesses was transported daily to the Seneca Meadows Landfill, a 480-mile, 7.5-hour round trip.
City staff and consultants from the Hudson Valley Regional Council will host a virtual public meeting on
Thursday, May 25, at 12:00pm to present an overview of the draft Organics Diversion Plan, including findings, analysis, and recommendations. The first phase of the implementation of Kingston Organics will be outlined, followed by a Q&A.
“Composting—or diverting food waste-- is the most logical action to take to reduce our waste stream heading to the landfill and save tipping fees and greenhouse gas emissions in the process. It is the responsible thing to do, the smart thing to do, but we plan to do so in a very conservative way- roll things out voluntarily, step by step, phase by phase, so we can pivot and make modifications where needed. We want this to be a success, and we know we have a lot of work to do, but we are committed to finding solutions,” said Julie Noble, the City of Kingston’s Environmental Educator and Sustainability Coordinator. “We are excited to make this service available to all residents, both homeowners and renters, who often don’t have space to compost at home.”
Bins and totes will not be provided by the City, nor is the program mandatory. Once the program is launched, the City will evaluate over several months and develop the future phases based on response. Like Phase 1, future phases are proposed to be voluntary, but may include commercial collection or curbside residential collection with small food scraps containers.
The development of the Organics Diversion Plan was funded by a grant to the City of Kingston from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through the Climate Smart Communities Grant Program.
For more information and to register for a Kingston Organics Food Waste Drop-off location, please visit: www.engagekingston.com/Kingston-organics.
The City of Kingston is a leader in efforts to create a more energy-efficient and sustainable community. Kingston has taken a comprehensive approach to building a city that is equipped to meet modern challenges and embrace 21st century opportunities. The Sustainability Office manages the City’s environmental projects, initiatives, and programming, including energy, land use, climate adaptation and resiliency, transportation, recycling and environmental education. Current projects include Community Choice Aggregation, Organics Diversion, Community Preservation Planning, Waterfront Flooding Resiliency, Building Decarbonization and more. More information about the City of Kingston’s sustainability efforts at https://kingston-ny.gov/sustainability.