Alexandria will start a pilot program later this month to collect food scraps for composting.
The city received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to start the program. The USDA gave $9.4 million in grants to 45 local governments to plan and implement compost and food waste reduction plans. The USDA announced the grants in February.
Alexandria residents will be able to sign up for the voluntary, curbside food waste composting program in late February. More information will be posted on Alexandria’s food waste webpage.
The food waste would be collected weekly, starting sometime in the spring. The program will be separate from the city’s yard waste collection.
“The curbside composting pilot program will be in addition to the free farmers’ market composting services that the City provides to all residents, expanding ways residents can divert waste from trash and create compost soil, a nutrient-rich soil amendment,” according to a news release from the city.
The USDA said food reduction programs benefit communities and farmers.
“With an estimated 4 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions attributable to uneaten food, local strategies and tools like these are important climate solutions,” said Terry Cosby, chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, in a news release.
Alexandria is the only Virginia jurisdiction among the 45 receiving grants. Jurisdictions applied for the grants in 2022.
Richmond applied in 2021 and received funding to set up “food scrap drop-off stations in collaboration with community gardens, libraries, businesses, and community organizations.”
In 2020, Prince William County applied and received a grant to “work with project partners to implement a food waste composting pilot program for county schools and educate students on the environmental, economic, and social benefits of food waste composting.”
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