Food waste from kitchens account for approximately 1/3 of municipal solid waste & it is often the heaviest stuff we throw out (not to mention the stinkiest). Don't forget, we pay for our trash by weight. Our curbside "garbage" is trucked to Peekskill where it is incinerated in Wheelabrator's waste-to-energy plant. Instead, you can compost and turn that waste into usable compost for gardening.

But before that, be conscious of how much food you purchase and throw away and tackle the problem before it begins.

Backyard composting

It does not get more local than backyard composting. It's the most sustainable, most efficient composting solution as there is no transport of the material.

Don't include animal products, oils or compostable plastics in your backyard composting system. Do include dried leaves, grass or other plants from your yard. Your finished product can be used to fortify flower beds, grass and your garden. Here are some great resources to get you started:

A Guide to Composting at Home

Watch this video

UCCRA Introduction to Home Composting

UCCRA Home Composting Guide

Small Scale Composting by the Cornell Waste Management Institute

Our own Elisa Zazzera explains how to do it!

Hastings' food scraps drop off

You can collect all kinds of organic matter and food scraps (including meats, bones, shells and fats) at home and bring them to the Hastings DPW or even arrange to have them picked up. For more information on our Food Scraps Program click here.

After you collect your scraps at home and bring them to our DPW, our compost is picked up and carted to Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency in Kingston, NY and turned into compost to be sold.

  • Know what you should and should not compost. Keep it to food and plants, and do not include "compostable" material like cups and utensils. See the list complete below.

  • Simply begin collecting your scraps and bring them to the collection bins at our DPW at 67 Southside Avenue. For more detailed instructions click here.

  • Learn about UCCRA here. They have a wealth of resources on their site.

  • For the nitty-gritty details on compostable items, see this primer from the facility, UCRRA. This document gives you the deep-dive on "compostable" plastics.

  • Composting is most effective when done as locally as possible -- like your backyard. Then, it doesn't need to be transported as ours does. For some backyard composting tips click here.

  • To learn about arranging pickup with Hastings Compost Services click here.