Seventy-six percent of the material sent by homes and businesses to the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill every year has the potential to be reused, recycled or composted. In an ongoing effort to bolster the region’s sustainability by diverting more waste away from the landfill, SWACO is proud to announce new collaborations with the cities of Columbus and Dublin and the Village of Brice to capture more food waste and household recyclables.
The partnerships include comprehensive food waste reduction initiatives, including the establishment of convenient food waste drop-off sites for residents to use; implementing Save More Than Food, a public education campaign to raise awareness about responsible food disposal practices; and expanding recycling infrastructure.
"Collaboration is at the heart of our mission, and these joint efforts with the cities of Columbus, Dublin, and the Village of Brice exemplify the impact we can achieve by working together," said Joe Lombardi, SWACO’s Executive Director. "Through our combined dedication to reducing food waste and enhancing recycling infrastructure, we are paving the way for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious central Ohio."
City of Columbus and Dublin: Food Waste Drop Off Sites
As part of the 2023 Community Waste Reduction Grant program, SWACO awarded the City of Columbus $35,000 to establish three new food waste drop-off sites. Locations are free to use and are available at:
These locations accept items such as meat, fish and small bones, dairy products, including eggs, pasta, fruits and veggies, paper towels and soiled napkins. For a complete list of what’s accepted, visit: https://www.columbus.gov/foodwaste/.
“We promised more refuse collection services to support our residents’ desire for environmentally conscious food waste disposal, and the launch of our three drop-off locations is a continuation of those efforts,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “The city’s partnership with SWACO advances our collective commitment to reduce landfilled waste and greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to ensure a healthier, cleaner climate for everyone.”
With the opening of these three Columbus locations, thirteen central Ohio communities now host a food waste drop-off site, including the city of Dublin, whose program came online in 2020 after receiving $6,759 in financial support from SWACO.
Since its launch, Dublin’s food waste drop-off program has diverted 145 tons of material and now, the city is partnering with SWACO to deliver educational information from Save More Than Food to residents’ mailboxes and social media feeds in an effort to encourage more Dublin residents to sign up and participate in the already successful program.
“Composting in Dublin is one of the many ways residents can join us in our mission to be the most sustainable global city of choice. Positive feedback has been received since the program began in 2021,” said Michael K. Darling, Operations Administrator for the City of Dublin. “The City of Dublin’s partnership with SWACO has made it possible for clean and easy disposal of food waste.”
“We know that when these sites are offered, along with comprehensive education about the prevalence of and prevention of food waste, households learn to generate less waste which saves them money, conserves natural resources used to grow and transport food, and protects the life of the landfill,” said Lombardi.
The Village of Brice: Expanding Recycling Infrastructure through Recycling Cart Program
SWACO is dedicated to supporting increased recycling across central Ohio, including its smaller communities. As part of this commitment, SWACO is working alongside the Village of Brice to help purchase 65-gallon wheeled recycling carts for its residents. Carts allow Brice residents to upgrade from small, handheld bins and are easier to move to the curb, hold more recycling and reduce litter because of their lids. SWACO’s Community Cart Grant program makes the purchase of new carts economically appealing for a community because they typically receive a 50% or greater reduction in the price of the carts.
Brice is the eighth central Ohio community to participate in SWACO’s Recycling Cart Grant Program. Since 2019, SWACO has provided carts to more than 45,000 households in Bexley, Blendon Township, Gahanna, Pleasant Township, Reynoldsburg, Westerville, and Whitehall.
Residents and businesses in these partner communities are encouraged to actively participate in food waste reduction initiatives and embrace responsible recycling practices to contribute to the success of these impactful programs. For more information about SWACO's initiatives and updates on the collaborative projects, please visit swaco.org.