Keep Lakewood Beautiful - Community Composting At Lakewood Park

Keep Lakewood Beautiful (KLB) and the City of Lakewood have partnered with Rust Belt Riders to provide residents with an alternative to landfills for household food waste. A collection bin has been placed in Lakewood Park, in front of the Oldest Stone House. For $5 per month, you can take your waste food items to the collection site instead of putting the waste in the trash. You can subscribe to this service on www.rustbeltriders.com. Drop-off is at your convenience; the bin is always available. Just about all non-liquid food waste can be composted; meat, dairy, citrus, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc. My family recently signed up and took our first food waste to the bins; it was easy.

The US Department of Agriculture estimates that 30 to 40% of all food in the US is wasted. And the USEPA reports that food waste is the single largest component of discarded municipal waste. Government statistics like these led to the founding of Rust Belt Riders in 2014.  According to Dan Brown, co-founder, they believe, and many of us agree, that composting food scraps is one of the most significant actions an individual can take to help the environment. In addition to the Lakewood location, they have collection bins at their facility in Cleveland and at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. They also contract with about 150 businesses in Ohio. Dan calculates that, in this year alone, their programs have redirected over two million pounds of food waste from a landfill to composting.

Dan had a few words of wisdom based on his experiences in composting. Have a container for your food scraps out while you’re preparing a meal. Make collecting for composting part of your routine. Any reusable container will do for collecting food scraps; a bucket, a plastic storage case, etc. The best place to store your food waste for composting is in the freezer, but any cool, dark, dry place that slows the decomposition process will do. Make it a weekly habit to drop off your food scraps at the collection bin, maybe on trash day. 

More Information on Rust Belt Riders can be found on their web site, www.rustbeltriders.com. If you have specific questions on whether or not a food item is compostable or just general questions about their program, they can be reached at info@rustbeltriders.com. You can, of course, contact KLB through our web page on the city web site (www.onelakewood.com/keep-lakewood-beautiful/). Please consider joining us in this community composting effort.

KLB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Around the Corner for their partnership with our early October neighborhood litter pick-up event. Many thanks to Around the Corner employees and other intrepid Lakewoodites who showed up in the rain to help keep our streets clean. KLB hopes to organize more of these localized litter pick-up events; it was quite a success in spite of the weather.

Keep Lakewood Beautiful was created in 1982 to promote civic involvement in improving the Lakewood environment. We always welcome new Board members and new ideas. Thank you.

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Volume 15, Issue 21, Posted 12:59 PM, 11.06.2019