Happy Curbside Pick-up Day!
It's a beautifully warm, windy day here in the Valley, and we had our 4th successful curbside pickup at TapRoot Farms! In exciting waste management news, we have officially diverted over 200lbs of waste from the landfill and into recycling streams! In just under 2 months we have successfully diverted 228.9 lbs (103.9kg) from the dumpster and from the landfill. That's over 100lbs a month of diversion, and we're very proud of our staff. Everyone has been really great in helping the program be successful, and doing their part to help. There are very few places around the farm now that don't have sorting stations or access to them, and staff is really making an effort to sort their own waste. What a great team to work with! Our Jamaican co-workers are definitely setting the bar high in terms of waste management, as they again had less than 1 full bag of garbage between 2 full houses. We set out 15 bags this week, 5 of which were garbage, and the other 10 of which were paper/recycling.
Here are the totals so far of weights diverted or separated waste on-farm (employee stations/other):
Garbage: 130.3lbs (59.1kg)
Recycling: 146.9lbs (66.6kg)
Paper: 68.3lbs (31.0kg)
Refundables: 13.7lbs (6.2kg)
TOTAL WASTE SORTED: 359.2lbs (162.9kg)
TOTAL WASTE DIVERTED FROM LANDFILL: 228.9lbs (103.9kg)
All our 15 bags curbside and our new green bin!
Other Waste News!
Food Waste Fair for Waste Reduction Week 2017
We were very lucky to take part in a new Waste Reduction Week activity this past Tuesday. We were part of the Food Waste Fair 2017 and co-hosted with Valley Waste Resource Management, FOUND and Forgotten Food, and SOUP New Minas! We had a blast making connections with others interested in reducing food waste. We co-hosted because CSA's are a great way to reduce food waste for multiple reasons. CSA boxes cut down on the amount transportation and storage needed between the Farm to your table. CSA's also have direct communication with their members and often grow what is needed. Yes we have food waste on the farm, however we compost or use it for feed for our animals and goes back into the system. These are just a few ways we try and cut down on food waste around the farm. There is a great article here with more information.
Valley Waste Resource Management (VWRM) was there with helpful hints on how to reduce food waste in your fridge, information on myths surrounding best before dates, food preservation, and a draw for a beautiful TupperWare container set! Divert and VWRM were trying to show people how much the average person throws out in food, which surprise, it's a lot. For instance, did you know that 47% of food waste in Canada occurs at home, and $31 billion dollars worth of food is wasted every year in Canada! Thankfully Divert NS, and VWRM all have great resources on how to reduce your food waste at home if you ever need some great tips!
FOUND and Forgotten Food were also co-hosting the event. For those of you who don't know who or what FOUND is, it's a group of community members that team up with local gardeners and farmers to help glean excess food, and distribute it throughout Halifax Regional Municipality and the Valley. There are lots of times that fresh, local produce is left in the field or turned in for nutrients. Although this food is perfectly fine, it's often forgotten about as a potential food resource! Food that is immediately perishable is often used in workshops and events by FOUND and turned into shelf-stable preserves. At this event we made freezer jam from frozen strawberries that were donated from Costco during the summer. It was super eas,y and took about 15 minutes. I currently have 4 small jars sitting in my freezer! Found has lots of information available on their website, and they post events, workshops, and volunteer opportunities on their Facebook and Instagram regularly: http://foundns.com/
Finally, there were the volunteers from SOUP New Minas. SOUP stands for Sharing Our Ugly Produce. It's a community organization that works to reduce local food waste, increase local food security and knowledge, and help build skill sets for people! Sarah (middle) often works close with us at TapRoot Farms to catch any food that isn't quite market-friendly or would otherwise end up in our compost bin. Just recently we had a great FOUND - SOUP - TapRoot Farms collaboration. TapRoot farms had a field of butternut squash that had already been harvested, so FOUND and SOUP sent out some volunteers (including myself from the farm) and we gleaned almost 1500lbs of squash from the field that was later turned into delicious soup and donated to various Food Banks in the area! It was a great example of the community working together, and various organization supporting each other to get local, healthy food out to the community. You can find out more about SOUP and their organization through their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/soupnewminas/about/?ref=page_internal
TerraCycle Cigarette Receptacle
We recently recieved our TerraCycle cigarette receptacle to start collecting our cigarette butts around the farm. It's a beautiful stainless steel receptacle that we are putting on a stake so that we can move it around as needed in the different seasons! It generated a lot of interest at the Food Waste Fair with some of the other volunteers as I explained what it was, and how it worked. It also stirred up conversation with the fact that Nova Scotia currently does not have a butt recycling program (even though a lot of other provinces do), and that Halifax is currently trying to create a program. We hope to be a part of that discussion in the future.
That's all for now! It's a long update, but a good one! Lots of great community action work and sharing.
Thank you all for checking,
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