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Warren County compost facility proposed as new law approaches

Warren County compost facility proposed as new law approaches

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A new state law that will require businesses that generate large amounts of food waste to dispose of it at compost facilities has Warren County leaders discussing the creation of a composting facility to serve the Glens Falls region.

The state “Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law“ was passed last spring and will require businesses and government agencies to make a host of changes to how they get rid of food waste.

The law, which takes effect in 2022, will require restaurants, grocery stores, hotels and motels, colleges, malls and event centers that produce an annual average of 2 tons per week or more to separate food that can be eaten, and take the rest to a compost facility if there is one within 25 miles.

As of now, the closest composting facility to Glens Falls is on General Fellows Road in Greenwich, which is 25 to 26 miles from Glens Falls.

Glens Falls resident Diane Collins, a member of environmental advocacy group Tri-County Transition, told Warren County supervisors last month that the county creating a facility could help the program regionally. It is expected there will be some state funding available, she said.

“We feel it would be a very useful goal for the county to establish a composting facility,” Collins said.

Leaves and brush are needed as carbon sources to get food to decompose, so the facility could also help communities with their annual leaf and brush disposal.

Possible sites in Queensbury, Warrensburg and Lake George were discussed, but no decisions have been made.

Johnsburg Supervisor Andrea Hogan said supervisors also need to figure out where the bulk of food waste is produced locally to ensure the facility would get maximum use.

Glens Falls 3rd Ward Supervisor Claudia Braymer, chairwoman of the county Board of Supervisors Environmental Concerns and Real Property Committee, said research should also be done on what towns are doing with the yard waste that is collected.

Stony Creek Supervisor Frank Thomas, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, said county residents could also do their part and compost their own food waste as well, if they are educated on how to do it properly.

The goal of the new state law is to make good use of the estimated 40% of food that does not get eaten. Hospitals, nursing homes and school districts will not be required to make changes.

County supervisors plan to discuss the issue further at a workshop meeting, but a date has not yet been set.

Don Lehman covers police and court matters, Warren County government and the outdoors. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or dlehman@poststar.com

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