story and photo by Gabrielle L. Wheeler
A new service is available in Schuyler and Yates Counties that will keep compostable waste out of our landfills and turn it back into genuine Finger Lakes soil. Heather Gilbert, owner of Finger Lakes Scraps to Gardens Personalized Compost Service speaks enthusiastically about the service that started pick-up last week for business and residential clients.
How does a curbside composting service work?
My whole process is [that] I want to give you a bucket but then also return it with a clean bucket so you’re not dealing with the slop and the mess. You’re not buying bags, so that’s saving money. In the long run, I think it will just save you money all the way across the board, even with your garbage bill.
Has the response been positive toward the idea?
So far, very much so…Cornell [University] has done different studies and research, and they say that 30-70% of garbage is from stuff that is compostable material. Whether it’s paper, food scraps, outdoor waste, yard trimmings, things that we just put in the landfill really could get converted into something in a greener way and be put back into the community and back into our region. And I think what we’re all kind of about in the Finger Lakes is just 360 circles, you know: grow it here, eat it here, recycle it here, and just do it again.
Has there been any negative feedback?
The only complaint that I’ve ever really had is pest control and odor, like ‘What are you going to do?” But back here I have over 10 acres, so I have plenty of room and plenty of routes to worry about that… I’m doing windrow piles…which is just like a farm style – just a long row. You put the compost on top and till it over so all the organic, rotting, disgusting material, as people would say, would get tucked into the middle and dirt would constantly be put over it. I’m going to keep it super simple and let Mother Nature do most of the process. I’m very familiar with it, so you know, it’s science, but it’s not rocket science. So, it’s just kind of knowing what materials you put in and just watching it, and it will come out good.
To contact Heather for more information and to sign up, call 315-335-0424, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook at FLX Scraps to Gardens.