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Curbside compost

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Rochester residents receive city-provided trash and recycling pickup, but when it comes to composting, it's kind of a DIY thing.

That's about to change. Local residents Brent Arnold and Steve Kraft have started a city-based business, Community Composting, which will provide residential pickup of compost fodder. They'll give subscribers a bucket for food scraps and other organic materials and they'll make weekly pickups, Arnold says. They'll charge $5 to $7 per pickup. (Subscribers will be able to direct Community Composting not to make a pickup on any given week by clicking a button in a weekly e-mail reminder they'll receive.)

In return, subscribers will receive credits based on the amount of waste they generate. They'll be able to redeem the credits through a web-based store for loose compost or small kitchen herb plants, Arnold says. Community Composting will take the scraps to Epiphergy, a local company that will turn the waste into compost, animal feed, and ethanol.

Arnold says that about 100 people have signed up so far and that he and Kraft should have the service going within a couple of weeks. Initially they plan to serve the Park Avenue, South Wedge, Brighton, and 19th Ward areas.

The service offers a broader benefit by diverting food waste from landfills. In the big picture, keeping food wastes out of landfills helps avoid the need to expand the landfills. And when food wastes break down in a landfill they produce methane: a potent greenhouse gas.

"Anything that we can do to complete the food cycle in Rochester is exciting to us," Arnold says.

For more information: www.communitycomposting.org.

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