Food and paper waste compost program launches at Montague transfer station

  • Montague resident Kate O’Kane empties three days of her household’s food waste into the new compost Dumpster at Montague’s Recycling Center and Transfer Station on Sandy Lane in Turners Falls. Contributed photo/Amy Donovan

  • Montague resident Susan Campbell dumps a load of household food waste into the new compost Dumpster at Montague’s Recycling Center and Transfer Station on Sandy Lane in Turners Falls. Contributed photo/Amy Donovan

Staff Report
Published: 3/17/2021 4:10:51 PM

TURNERS FALLS — A new residential food and paper waste compost program is now available to residents at Montague’s Recycling Center and Transfer Station.

According to a press release from Amy Donovan, program director with the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District, similar programs are successful at 10 other transfer stations in Franklin County: Bernardston, Conway, Deerfield, Greenfield, Leverett, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Wendell and Whately. Similar compost programs are also established in 25 of the county’s public schools.

How the program works

Triple T Trucking has placed a special compost-only Dumpster at Montague’s Recycling Center and Transfer Station at 11 Sandy Lane in Turners Falls. The container will be emptied weekly and the contents will be taken to Martin’s Farm in Greenfield for composting. The release explains that this commercial composting facility can compost meat, bones, cheese, paper products and other materials that are not appropriate for at-home compost bins.

Residents can bring compostable materials during the transfer station’s open hours on Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon.

Municipal compost programs accept many materials that are currently destined for the trash. According to the release, all solid food wastes are acceptable including meat, bones, poultry, fish, cheese, dairy (no liquids), eggs, eggshells, shellfish, fruits, peels, vegetables, bread, grains, tea bags, coffee grounds and paper filters. Paper is also accepted: napkins and paper towels, paper egg cartons, paper to-go containers and pizza boxes with stuck-on food. (Pizza boxes that are empty and free of food should be recycled.)

The following items should not be composted: liquids; pet wastes and cat litter; diapers; plastic bags, wrappers or cling wrap; polystyrene foam or other conventional plastic; metal; glass; or anything else that is not biodegradable. Yard waste, leaves and brush are also not accepted in this container, the release states. The Montague Recycling Center and Transfer Station has a separate area for yard waste.

Collecting compost at home

According to the release, residents can use a compost pail, 5-gallon bucket or any other closed container to collect their food waste and bring it to the transfer station. To make clean-up easier, residents can line pails with newspaper, a paper bag or a BioBag.

If compostable wastes are transported to the transfer station in a traditional plastic bag, the bag must be emptied into the compost container. Traditional plastic bags should never be placed in municipal or commercial compost bins, the release states.

The Franklin County Solid Waste Management District sells 2-gallon “Sure-Close” compost collection pails for $5. Residents can call 413-772-2438 to make an appointment to pick one up at the Greenfield office at 117 Main St. These pails will also be available for free to Montague residents at the Montague Recycling Center and Transfer Station, while supplies last.

For Montague residents who would prefer to compost their non-meat food waste at home, rather than bring it to the transfer station, the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District also sells home compost bins to Montague residents for $25, by appointment.

With questions or for more information, contact the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District at 413-772-2438 or info@franklincountywastedistrict.org, or visit franklincountywastedistrict.org/composting.html.


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