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Apple Festival launches food waste recycling project

A food vendor serves a plate at the Apple Festival in 2012. This year the festival has banned Styrofoam as part of a food waste-to-compost project. A food vendor serves a plate at the Apple Festival in 2012. This year the festival has banned Styrofoam as part of a food waste-to-compost project.

Henderson County and North Carolina Apple Festival officials say they expect to divert tons of food waste from the landfill this weekend through a pilot composting project.


The Apple Festival has recycled paper and other waste in recent years but this is the first time the festival will place dumpsters with green lids on the street for patrons to deposit food plates and cups. The festival banned Styrofoam for the first time, making food recycling easier.
Vendors "are required this year to not serve any kind of food or drinks in Styrofoam containers," said Rachel Hodge, Henderson County's environmental programs coordinator. "The reason that's significant is the paper waste can be composted with the food scraps so we should have a huge number of tons that are going to be composted and not landfilled."
The food waste will be processed by Danny's Dumpster, the only permitted compost processing facility in western North Carolina.
"We will weigh it before we haul it to Asheville so I'll have waste number," Hodge said.
The Henderson County Environmental Programs & Solid Waste Division and Danny's Dumpster are co-managing the pilot project.
Danny's Dumpster will provide twelve bins with green lids for compost collection.
"The Apple Festival is pleased to work with Henderson County to bring composting to this year's Apple Festival," David Nicholson, the Apple Festival's executive director, said in a news release. "We have been recycling for a number of years and that has greatly reduced our waste flow. The addition of composting adds to that effort. We appreciate food vendors and apple growers helping us eliminate the use of Styrofoam this year."