WHY RECYCLE FOOD SCRAPS?

Did you know that by far the largest amount of garbage that residents throw away in Connecticut is food waste? More than ¼ of the solid waste in the state is food with the average family throwing out 1 in every 4 bags of groceries. Our food scraps can all be used for good — an outsized reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and rich soil returned to the earth to nourish our planet.

Recycling food scraps into compost captures their nutrients and energy and returns them to the environment.  When food scraps are sent to a landfill or incinerator this resource is lost. In a landfill, food scraps create methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas that traps CO2 and contributes to global warming.  When sent to an incinerator, food scraps reduce the efficiency of the incinerator because they contain water and therefore don't burn well.

Composting food scraps turns that story around!  Instead of wasting energy trying to burn food, or creating methane from landfilling it, composting food scraps produces a useful and valuable product that gives back to our nutrient life cycle resulting in cleaner soil, water and air. 

WHAT IS COMPOST? 

Compost is a soil amendment which enriches our soil. When purchasing a bag of potting soil or observing your landscaper putting down “dirt” you are using compost.

Compost benefits our landscape by maximizing plant growth, preventing soil erosion and mitigating the frequency of water, fertilizer and pesticide use. 

By recycling your food scraps you are reducing waste and creating compost – a double win!

How does a food scraps collection program work? 

HOW IT WORKS? 

1. COLLECT your food scraps in a countertop pail.  Although not required, you may line your pail with a BPI certified compostable bag – please no plastic bags.

2. Most residents will fill the countertop pail with food scraps 3-4 times per week.  As you fill your counter top pail, transfer that bag to your 5 gallon travel bin.  

3. BRING your travel bin to the Food Scrap Recycling drop-off bins at the Town of Wilton Transfer Station to dispose of your food scraps as often as needed. 

4. REPEAT!

All material collected is brought to a commercial composting facility where it is turned into compost. Download a program brochure.

Wilton Transfer Station Location and Hours: 

Mather Street (.7 mile north from intersection of Mather Street and Honey Hill Road)
Wilton, CT 06897

With the implementation of this program, the Transfer Station will be open Monday – Thursday 7:00 am to 3:30 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am-12:00 pm

This program is available only to Wilton residents. 

ACCEPTED ITEMS: 

REMEMBER – ONLY FOOD Scraps are allowed in your bin. Download a program brochure.

  • Meat, Poultry (bones also) Fish (including shellfish)
  • Dairy Products
  • Flower & Vegetable Garden Waste
  • Houseplants & Flower Bouquets
  • Fruits & Nuts (including pits)
  • Vegetables ***Remove stickers, bands and ties***
  • Bread, Pasta & Grains
  • Sauces, Soup & Gravy
  • Coffee Grounds & Filters
  • Tea Bags
  • Egg Shells
  • Plate Scrapings

ITEMS NOT ACCEPTED:

  • NO PLASTIC items, stickers, rubber bands or twist ties!
  • NO Plastic bags , plastic packaging and wrappers are never allowed in the bins. Plastic does not biodegrade and therefore will contaminate the compost. 
  • NO Baby/Hand wipes.  They are synthetic, do not biodegrade and will contaminate the compost.  
  • NO pet waste.

If unsure about an item, please email us before putting it in the bin. info@wiltongogreen.org 

Download a program brochure.

Starter Kits:

Kits include one 1.5-gallon countertop pail, one 5-gallon home storage & transportation bin and one roll of 25 BPI certified compostable bags. 

Starter kits (similar to one pictured right) can be purchased for $20 paid by credit card  by clicking HERE and then picked up at the Town Clerk's Office during regular business hours Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. 

Exact cash and check are also accepted in person at the Town Clerk's Office. 

Wilton Go Green will have an opportunity at select events throughout the year to help sell starter kits.  Announcements will be made prior to those events. 

Food Scrap Recycling FAQs

What are BPI certified compostable bags?

BPI, or Biodegradable Products Institute, certifies that a particular item is truly compostable in a commercial facility as well as free of any “forever chemicals" such as PFAS that could contaminate the finished compost. If you are looking to purchase compostable bags at a local grocery store or online look for the symbol to the left or writing that states the item is “BPI certified compostable."

Brands such as “If You Care" which make BPI certified compostable bags can be found at Caraluzzi's and Village Market. You an also purchase extra rolls of BP bags through the Wilton DPW Office.

Do I need to use the BPI certified compostable bags?

You CAN NOT use any type of plastic bags in the food scrap recycling program. Residents can choose to not use any BPI certified compostable bags and simply clean their counter top bin and travel bucket once food is dropped off. If you want to skip the cleaning step then you use BPI certified compostable bags ONLY.

Do I need to buy Transfer Station tickets?

The food scrap pilot program DOES NOT require purchasing tickets from the Town of Wilton.

Do I need a transfer station sticker on my car?

Yes, you do need to have a Transfer Station sticker on your car in order to enter.  Vehicle stickers are FREE and can be obtained by one of two ways: 

1) Filling out this form and bringing it along with a copy of your vehicle registration to the Town Clerk's office.

2) Requested online and picked up at the Town Clerk's office.  This can be done at the same time as purchasing a starter kit. 

The Town Clerk's office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and the office can be reached by calling (203) 563-0106 or by emailing the department.

Where do our food scraps go?

Food scraps are picked up by Blue Earth Compost on a weekly basis and delivered to  Quantum BioPower, an anaerobic digester in Southington, in order to capture the methane produced to create renewable energy while also making compost.

Do I need to buy a starter kit to participate?

Residents do not need to buy a starter kit to participate in the food scraps recycling program.  A starter kit is just a way to make it easy for you to participate. 

Residents are welcome to get creative with their home and transfer process.

Residents who do not purchase a kit do still need to be sure to follow the rules of what can and cannot be accepted as well as make sure no plastic bags of any kind are used. 

What about backyard composting?

Wilton Go Green has great resources on how to reduce your food waste and how to backyard compost on our The Solvable Problem of Food Waste webpage HERE

Can I add (fill in the blank) because it says 'compostable'?

For the success of our program we are asking residents to stick to our published list of acceptable items (see below).  Even though companies can label and market their products as “compostable" or “compostable in a commercial facility" they may not actually be compostable or accepted by the composting facility. For these reasons and more, please leave them out of the program.