Grandview Heights expanding recycling, food-waste composting program with SWACO grant

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group
Four children who joined Grandview Heights' Kids that Compost youth team when it began in 2019 stand in front of the food-waste drop-off site the group operates at 1525 Goodale Blvd. in partnership with the city of Grandview Heights. Pictured are (from left) Hudson Barber, Elise Barber, Margaret Yates and Maura Yates.

A grant from the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio will allow the city of Grandview Heights to expand its residential curbside recycling and residential food-waste drop-off programs.

The city will use the $19,982.25 grant to purchase new 35-gallon recycling carts that will be made available to residents on a first-come, first-served basis, Mayor Greta Kearns said. About 550 carts will be purchased with grant money.

"These are the larger blue curbside recycling bins other communities are using," Kearns said. "They are on wheels, which makes it easier to take them to the curb."

The larger containers will allow residents to recycle more items and divert them from going to SWACO's landfill, Kearns said.

A form to request a cart will be available on the city's website at a later date.

The city's residential recycling program accepts most household paper and cardboard, plastic bottles, jugs and tubs, metal cans, glass bottles and jars, and carton containers.

The grant also will allow the city to purchase six bins to double the number of receptacles available at the food-waste drop-off site that was established in August 2020 at 1525 Goodale Blvd. through the city's partnership with Kids that Compost.

Kids that Compost is a Grandview-based organization founded in 2019 by Mona Barber.

Barber said she wanted to find a way to encourage and increase the amount of food-waste recycling in the community and worked with city officials to create the partnership.

"It takes a lot of effort to get a food-waste recycling program started in a community," she said. "If we make it easy for people to participate, we'll be able to get more people involved in diverting food waste to the landfill."

By forming a youth team to help develop the Kids that Compost program, Barber said, she wanted to encourage youngsters to embrace sustainability at an early age and harness the energy children can bring to a project.

Since its start in 2019 in Grandview, Kids that Compost has expanded to include youth teams in Upper Arlington, Dublin, New Albany and Columbus' Short North neighborhood, and teams are forming in Reynoldsburg and Clintonville, she said.

Although some youth team activities have been curtailed due to the COVID pandemic, Kids that Compost participants engage in a number of activities, from making presentations to the environmental clubs at their schools and serving as mentors and role models during visits with preschool students to managing the organization's social-media channels, staffing booths at farmers markets and creating public-service announcements for Rumpke, Barber said.

In addition to the drop-off site, Kids that Compost has offered a weekly curbside food-waste collection service for residents since September 2019 for a $20 monthly fee, she said.

Kids that Compost delivers a bucket and lid with a compostable liner to residents, Barber said.

"We pick up the material in your bucket each week and replace your liner," she said.

The food waste is cultivated at local farms, where it is turned into nutrient-rich compost soil, Barber said.

Kids that Compost will hold a compost drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 25 at the drop-off site, 1525 Goodale Blvd., she said.

Residents will be able to drive through and receive a container of compost soil to use in their home gardens, Barber said.

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