The city of Bexley is seeking residents to participate an initiative designed to reduce food waste.

The Food Waste Recycling Program is a one-year pilot program scheduled to begin next month, said Mayor Ben Kessler.

"I've been working on the idea of food waste recycling for about five years," he said. "We've, frankly, not had many options in Franklin County until recently."

The Food Waste Recycling Program is a component of the Bexley Zero Waste Plan, a long-term strategic effort designed to dramatically reduce the amount of solid waste that goes to landfills, diverting it to recyclable and reusable streams. Bexley City Council approved the Zero Waste Plan on Sept. 26.

One component of the Bexley Zero Waste Plan is for the city to begin working toward diverting food waste from landfills. Through the Food Waste Recycling Program, participants will be asked to place food waste in 5-gallon receptacles and put it at the curb for normal Monday pickup of recycling and yard waste. The receptacles will be picked up and replaced with clean receptacles for use the following week.

After collection, food waste will be recycled into compost for gardens, farms and other uses.

"We're targeting up to 300 households" to participate in the pilot program, Kessler said. "We're looking for geographic diversity representing different parts of the city."

The city estimates the pilot program will cost $6.03 per household to administer, Kessler said.

"If that (program) were to go communitywide, we would anticipate lower costs because there would be some economies of scale," he said.

Once the one-year pilot has been completed, the city will evaluate the program and decide whether to extend it, Kessler said.

To participate in the program, residents can download a petition at Bexley.org/food-waste.

"Just like a petition for a block party, we're asking for at least 75 percent of residents on a block to sign up for the program and agree to be active participants during the one-year pilot," Kessler said.

Residents have until Oct. 20 to submit petitions.

"In the event that we have more than the 200- to 300-household base we're targeting for this effort, eligible blocks will be entered into a lottery for the pilot program," Kessler said.

For more information, visit Bexley.org/food-waste.

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