© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

City places first food waste receptacle on Elmwood Avenue

A food waste receptacle on Elmwod Avenue
Ryan Zunner
This Food waste receptacle is part of Buffalo's "Scrap It!" food recycling program.

The City of Buffalo is taking aim at reducing food waste with a new initiative in the Elmwood Village. As part of the “Scrap It!” food recycling program started by Mayor Byron Brown in 2018, residents can bring food scraps to an outdoor food waste receptacle located at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway.

Refuse and Recycling Director Susan Attridge said a sizable portion of the city’s waste comes from food and a receptacle can help put a dent into that.

“Food waste comprises almost 15% of all of our waste stream and we know that people throw out about one-third of all the food they purchase,” said Attridge. “So there’s two messages here really. We want people to be really cognizant when they’re shopping so they only purchase what they need so they don’t generate food waste. Then if they do generate food waste, they can collect all week or however long it takes and bring it to this public location and drop it off.”

Civic leaders are billing the receptacle as the first of its kind in the county, giving residents 24/7 public access to recycle food scraps. Attridge said that once the bin is filled, the company Natural Upcycling hauls the contents off to either a food waste digester or to a compost facility such as Buffalo River Compost where it can be turned into a soil amendment.

Not all food products or compostable waste is accepted, however.

“We do not want to put any other compost, yard waste, garbage, or anything else in that receptacle,” said Attridge. “We have to keep it with just food [non-meat product] waste and if we can do that we’re going to have a very successful program.”

Acceptable materials include fruits, vegetables, egg shells, nuts, and tea and coffee grounds. More information about the receptacle and other programs within the “Scrap It!" program is available at the city's recycling website.

Ryan Zunner joined WBFO in the summer of 2018 as an intern, before working his way up to reporter the following summer.