With Earth Day coming up on April 22, you might be wondering how to do a little good for Mother Earth, and composting is a great way to make an impact. We love composting and keeping organic food waste out of the landfill. But we don’t love stinky compost bins or the work it takes to keep up with it at home. Thankfully, Springfield-based programs take some of the yuck and effort out of the task.
Springfield Compost Collective offers a $25-per-month home-pickup service for anyone wanting to compost their waste without having to manage the bulk of it. After you sign up, they give you a bin to fill, then they pick it up regularly to haul off the waste and process it into compost.
A newer program through Urban Roots Farm is a good match for anybody who prefers to drop their compost off. There are Springfield Compost Collective bins on-site at Urban Roots Farm’s farmstand, so you can kill two birds with one stone—compost drop-off and veggie shopping. Drop your organic food waste in the bins to be turned into compost, and then pick up some locally grown produce while you’re there.
Let’s be honest for a moment. How much food does your household throw away on a weekly basis? Probably a lot more than you’d care to admit. According to Ashley Krug, Market Development Coordinator for the City of Springfield Environmental Services, it’s estimated that 400 pounds of food per person is thrown away every single year, totaling about $1,500 per family of four. That’s a lot of forgotten food rotting in our landfill.
While careful meal planning is important to decreasing the amount of discarded food in your home, some waste is inevitable. Through the Dish to Dirt program, Krug and the Springfield Environmental Services team are working to educate Springfield community members on the ease of home composting. Workshops guide attendees through an educational workbook, and everyone goes home with two free compost bins—one for the kitchen counter to collect scraps, and a closed composting system for the backyard. “We’ve had about 400 people go through our Dish to Dirt classes so far. And we started it last year,” Krug says.