Island food-waste recovery program taps Ag Fair for 1.5 tons

Island-Wide Organics Feasibility Study staff and volunteers at the Agricultural Fair. Sophie Abrams (left), Sarah Ives, Taylor Ives, and Libby Bouck. — courtesy of Sophie Abrams

Over the course of the four-day Agricultural Fair, the Island-Wide Organics Feasibility Study estimated, it was able to recover 2,996 pounds of food waste and organic materials. That’s about one and a half tons of food, flowers, and paper napkins that would’ve otherwise ended up in the trash, according to Sophie Abrams, project manager of the study and the pilot program, Composting on the Coast.

Ms. Abrams said that the goal at the fair was to raise awareness about food waste. “You get people to stop for a second and think when they’re putting food somewhere other than where they do normally,” Ms. Abrams said. “I think that’s what we were going for. Being able to talk about the project with year-round and summer community members.”

Volunteers and staff members from the study ran six food-waste stations, where people were helped to sort their waste. Ms. Abrams said the most common items thrown out were corncobs and watermelon rinds. They also composted the flowers, veggies, and baked goods from the Agricultural Hall.

Two hundred pounds of food was used to feed local pigs, and the rest was composted onsite at the Agricultural Hall, she said.