We are delighted to have launched a commercial food scraps collection program in Santa Fe. Commercial composting’s impact on our community’s quality of life is immense: thousands of cubic yards of food scraps are being diverted from the landfill where they would create toxic methane. Instead, we are using the organic material to create a rich, fertile soil amendment that retains moisture and nurtures our farms and gardens.
In our first week of collections, we diverted
over 3 tons of food scraps
from our landfill.
Are you part of a local business that would like to participate?
Our goal is to make food scraps/organics separation AS SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE for our restaurant clients, and to make a seamless transition from trash to treasure! We will be providing bins, bags, labels and 64-gallon wheeled carts for collection 1, 2 or 3 times per week.
Fees for services are comparable to the City fees for cart services, and we will do a trash audit for you–your monthly fee should be the same or lower by adding compost to your routine…not to mention the great publicity as a pioneer on this important eco project!
If your restaurant or institution is interested in participating, please contact us for program details and to schedule an appointment to discuss your particular logistics.
Call 505-629-0836 Monday-Friday 9am-6pm.
Current composting partners include:
Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery, La Choza, Cowgirl BBQ, Del Charro, Geronimo,Restaurant Martin, L’Olivier, Salazar Elementary School and The Shed.
How this all
Seventeen months ago, we sat down with the City of Santa Fe Environmental Services Division to discuss an idea to implement commercial food scraps collection in Santa Fe.
They said no.
They liked the idea, they supported the mission, but no, it was not legal according to the Solid Waste Ordinance.
(The Ordinance was written to prevent possible failure of collection of food scraps by independent companies; fair enough, as we don’t want dumpsters full of rotting food sitting for weeks in the June sun either…)
How we responded…
We discussed our options to make this important program a reality in our City.
Option 1. Change the Solid Waste Ordinance
Option 2. Become an agent of the City in order to be in compliance with the ordinance.
(Option 2 allows the City to do the collections in the event of extreme circumstances that would prevent the contractor from completing the route.)
We decided on Option 2.
While more technically complicated on our end, this allows us to build a long-term partnership with the City and share valuable data about trash vs. food scraps volume in order to assist clients in doing trash audits and garnering community support for implementation of Citywide Food Scraps Collection.
The next steps…
Moving forward with Option 2 involved several steps.
First, the City created a Request for Proposals, opening up the possibility of creating a compost program to all non-profit organizations who were interested in bidding.
Second, we submitted our proposal.
Third, we attended several non-mandatory meetings for all applicants and waited for the City’s decision.
We were chosen!!
It’s not over yet. Next, we negotiated specific terms of the Professional Services Agreement, and then we waited for the agreement to be approved by the Utilities Committee, Finance Committee, and City Council.
It was approved!!
Wonderful news! We cheered! We celebrated! We shared the good news!
And then the next round of work began.
It needed some money …
We have signed an agreement with the City to make our performance of this project legal and protected. The City, however, does not have a fund for projects like this one. As you know, each City resident pays a trash collection bill, and that number is based on enterprise mathematics: the total money for the vehicles, equipment, land and jobs divided by the number of residents using the service. Of course, the City can finance the vehicles, large equipment and land over many years to make it more affordable for weekly trash collection.
So we created a campaign …
As a small nonprofit, we need to make the program affordable for our clients to participate in compost collection, which is why we raised a portion of the seed funds for this project through a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo.