Camden County to start program to divert food waste

Camden County is going green. As of Jan. 1, 2020, the plastic ban officially went into effect in county-owned buildings. Now, they are focusing on food waste and want to re-use scraps. 

“Some people say climate change is real. Some people say it isn’t. I say give it a chance,” said Jonathan Young from the Office of Sustainability. “Why not make the change and see what happens.” 

Young says the goal of their new diverting food waste program is to stop putting leftovers in a landfill and convert it into compost or animal feed. 

“We are talking about the tops of carrots. We are talking about peelings from potatoes. So those are things that will be automatically thrown out, so we are just re-purposing the use for it," Young explained.


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Camden County estimates about six tons will be picked up each week and save taxpayers a bundle, compared to the fees for putting trash in a landfill. 

“It will be going to a compost facility and we will be paying less to do that ultimately saving taxpayer money,” said Director of Communications in Camden County Dan Keashen.

The diverting food waste pilot program will start in at least five county-owned cafeterias like the jail, juvenile detention center, Camden County College and Camden County Technical School campuses. Eventually, they hope local businesses will follow suit. 

“As we start to go along maybe other restaurants in town and throughout the county can jump on board,” said Young. 

The county is accepting bids from vendors who could transport the waste and turn it into compost until Feb. 11. They are looking to sign a one year deal starting in the spring.


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