• Hoboken Composting: Everything You Need to Know

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    Did you know Hoboken has a community compost? The Community Compost Company made its way to the Mile Square City back in 2015. For the past three years, the Hoboken compost has given residents and businesses a chance to donate food scraps and recycling to a safe place, ensuring sustainable practices with little to no negative environmental effect.

    “Our mission at Community Compost Company is twofold: we’re working hard to eliminate all food scraps and food waste from reaching landfills,” Andrea Rodriguez, the sales and marketing manager at CCC, says. “Instead, we’re collecting this nutrient-rich material from residents and businesses throughout Hoboken, Jersey City, and areas in the Hudson Valley, and recycling it into compost.”

    A compost refers to the process of organic matter decomposing. Instead of tossing food scraps like egg shells, gone-bad lettuce, or the peels and stems of fruit or veggies, these scraps are compostable. Over time, the organic matter will decompose and become soil, which is a sustainable alternative to scraps going to the landfill. Compost soil can be used for gardening and helps reduce carbon footprint.

    “Compost improves the health of our soil, which grows the food that we eat. By restoring the quality of our food, we’re keeping ourselves, our loved ones, and our community healthy,” Andrea adds.  Keep reading to find out more about Hoboken’s environmental efforts for community composting:

    {Photo courtesy of Community Compost Company}

    What does a compost do?

    Compost breaks down organic materials into fresh, usable soil. That’s a much more sustainable option than sending organic matter to landfills with other trash. Apart from recycling organic matter, composts do a lot for our environment.

    There are a ton of benefits to composting, but here are three main reasons CCC customers joined the compost movement:

    ●  To fight climate change – when food scraps, yard waste and paper products reach the landfill, they don’t have the oxygen needed to break down properly and are forced to decompose without it (anaerobically). This process produces methane, a gas 20-30x more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

    ●  To reduce landfilled waste – 22% of our everyday trash is food and can be recycled. According to the EPA, more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material.

    ●  To improve our soil health and grow healthy food – as mentioned above.

    See More: The Hoboken Community Garden

    How did Community Compost Company get started?

    According to Andrea, “CCC was founded in 2013 and is a Certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise that provides residential and commercial food scrap collection in Hoboken, Jersey City, and the Hudson Valley of NY. Our founder, Eileen Banyra, was a city planner for 14 years and for five of those years, CCC was her side hustle.”

    With a passion for restoring soil through the art of food recycling and composting, Eileen launched Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator Program at Glynwood in New Paltz. Next, she saw the need for food scrap pick-up in Hoboken and Jersey City.

    “Unlike most of New Jersey, the majority of us don’t have access to outdoor space to be able to compost on our own,” Andrea says.

    Since CCC came to us in 2015, it has serviced nearly 300 residents and businesses, reaching over 1 million pounds of food scraps. After the food scraps are collected, they are composted in Kerhonkson, NY, CCC HQ. The finished compost is then available for purchase in bags {and bulk} through Hudson Soil Co., the soil products division of the company.

    Which businesses participate in the Hoboken compost?

    The Community Compost is available to all – residents and businesses alike. Businesses can partner up with CCC to reduce the amount of waste they create as well. Restaurants and even schools throughout the Mile Square and Jersey City are committed to reducing landfill waste, and therefore rely on CCC to help them produce local, healthy soil amendments to benefit our agricultural system, and take action against climate change.

    “Together we’ve composted 55,000 pounds of half-eaten sandwiches, coffee grinds, lemon rinds, egg shells, meat, dairy, fish, food-soiled napkins and paper towels, and so much more.” Andrea says.

    That’s not all. CCC has also partnered with the City of Hoboken to offer a residential drop-off service and compost pick-up for local businesses. Residents of Hoboken can bring their food scraps to the City’s Public Works Garage at 256 Observer Highway on Saturdays from 9AM-12PM and Mondays from 8AM-12PM for free.

    For local businesses interested in composting in Hoboken, the City offers free curbside pickup of food scraps.

    {Photo courtesy of Community Compost Company}

    Does compost smell?

    It’s a top concern of people just getting into the whole compost thing: smell. But don’t fret – CCC is committed to making sure compsting is a stink-free process.

    “The number one thing I want everyone in Hoboken and Jersey City to know about our service is that… it won’t stink.” Andrea says. “This is without a doubt the number one concern we hear. Once you sign up, we provide you with an air-tight 5-gallon bucket to store your food scraps. As long as you keep the lid sealed, you won’t smell a thing.”

    Tips for compost beginners

    New to composting? That’s okay. It doesn’t have to be intimidating. Just remember: You’ve already made a conscious decision to help the environment. You’re nearly there.

    ●  Store your food scraps in a reusable container or paper bag and keep them in the freezer. Transfer the contents into your bucket the night before service.

    ●  Don’t forget to add your food-soiled paper – paper bags, napkins, paper towels and even torn up pizza boxes help absorb moisture from the scraps.

    ●  Add a few sprinkles of baking soda to your bucket after each fill.

    compostables

    How can you get involved?

    If you’re interested in getting involved with the Community Compost Company, you can sign up directly through their website and they will come to you to pick up any food scraps. You’ll get a 5-gallon bucket to fill with all acceptable materials {list included above} and then CCC will come to your doorstop, leaving you a clean bucket every pick-up.

    CCC gives back compost twice a year for residents’ houseplants and/or gardens or you can opt to have your compost share donated to a local organization. The fee is $29 a month for weekly pick-up and $19 a month for biweekly.

    We’re offering all Hoboken Girl readers a free month when you sign up for our service.

    Use the code ‘GREEN2019.’

    If you’re in Jersey City, contact Andrea Rodriguez at newjersey@communitycompostco.com or 845-787-3478 ext. 2. To learn more about services visit: communitycompostco.com.

    Have any recycling tips? Share with us in the comments below.

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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