Fayetteville, Ark. recognized for food waste composting

Woman recycling organic kitchen waste by composting in green container during preparation of meal

Fayetteville, Ark.’s Recycling and Trash Division has been honored by the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) with an award for 2020 Outstanding Community/Government Program for its food-waste composting and recycling programs.

NRC’s annual awards are designed to recognize outstanding individuals, programs and organizations around the country, both for their achievements as well as models for other communities large and small.

In recognizing Fayetteville, NRC honored the city’s recycling program and celebrated the recent city-wide ban on expanded-polystyrene foam.

The city’s food waste collection program, initiated in 2019, already has diverted 457 tons of food waste away from the landfill in 2020 alone.

“We are honored to be recognized for the work we are doing in providing sound recycling and cutting-edge composting programs,” said Brian Pugh, Fayetteville’s waste reduction coordinator. “The residents of Fayetteville also deserve a pat on the back when it comes to this award, because it is by their continued participation in and support for programs that can recover, reuse and divert from the landfill that we were able to receive it. Finally, our staff deserves a lot of credit, as it’s because of them that the materials are collected, processed, composted and sold back to our residents to enrich the soil and support the economy. We couldn’t do it without any of those factors, it is definitely a team effort.”

Currently, Fayetteville diverts 19 percent of its solid waste from the landfill through recycling programs, waste-reduction education and food-waste diversion. The city’s goal is to divert 40 percent of its waste by 2027.

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