Environment
5:33 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Pilot Program Invites Triad Residents to Join Residential Composting Effort

A Winston-Salem business is starting a residential composting program this summer.

Pete Gallins, of Gallins Family Farm, explains to WFDD's Keri Brown the screening process he uses when making organic compost from food waste.
Credit Bethany Chafin

Two years ago, Gallins Family Farm began collecting fruit and vegetables tossed out in the trash from local universities, restaurants and other businesses. The company uses the food waste to make an organic composting product called Carolina Dynamite.

Now Gallins is looking for 50 people in the Triad area to participate in a pilot program that will collect food waste from people’s homes.

“They want to be able to compost it but a lot of people in Winston-Salem don't have the resources, space or time to create their own pile, so what we are offering is that we will come pick it up and compost it for you. You can use it in your gardens, your flower beds and you don't have to worry about any of the leg work in between,” says Lyndsy Soltau, director of the residential composting program.

Participants will receive a four to five five gallon container to store their unwanted produce, breads, pasta and meat scraps.  Soltau says Gallins Farm will collect the items from residents once a week. Workers will place a freshly sanitized container in front of the residence after each collection.

Soltau says people can also leave their unwanted paper products in the collection bins.

“It’s not only food waste, but it is other compostable materials that we will take like pizza boxes, for example. We also will accept paper from fast food packaging, flour and sugar bags, paper plates, paper towels and toilet paper rolls,” says Soltau.

The food waste and paper products will be hauled to the company’s composting farm off of Thomasville Road in Winston-Salem, N.C., where it will go through a special screening and curing process. After about two months, the waste goes from recognizable trash to a black, earthy soil mix-- rich in nitrogen. The first batch of compost will be delivered to residents in about six to eight weeks.

Soltau says Gallins Farm plans to begin the residential composting program in late June.

The fee to join the program is $30.00 a month.

The director of the residential composting program talks about the need for compost recycling services in the Triad.