Posted: May 10, 2021 / 12:03 PM EDTUpdated: May 10, 2021 / 12:08 p.m. EDT

FILE – This Wednesday, January 15, 2020, students are discarding food at the end of their lunch break as part of a lunchtime composting program at a Connecticut elementary school. A United Nations report published on Thursday March 4, 2021 estimates that 17% of the world’s food produced annually is wasted. That’s 931 million tons of food, or about double what researchers thought was wasted a decade ago. And most of the waste – or 61% – is in households, with food service accounting for 26% and retail for 13%. (Dave Zajac / Record-Journal via AP)

ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced a new food waste composting program in the city on Monday. The program provides several volunteer resources to help keep food waste out of the Rapp Road landfill.

According to the mayor’s office, 20% of the garbage that goes to the landfill is leftover food, which gives off methane gas as it decomposes and leads to climate change. The mayor hopes to keep this waste out of the landfill and provide nutrient-rich soil for residents.

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  • Backyard composting: Residents interested in this option are provided with a kitchen container, garden composter, organic materials, and the education necessary to successfully compost at home.
  • Leftovers fall off: The City of Albany has partnered with Friends of Tivoli Preserve and the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center to provide drop-off points where residents can bring their leftover food and dispose of it in bins specifically designed for organic collection.
  • Full service collection of food waste: The City of Albany has partnered with the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center to provide free collection containers. Residents interested in this option pay a small monthly fee to collect their leftovers. The residents are instructed to put their leftover food in the designated rubbish bin and to leave it at the door on a specific pick-up day.

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“Discarded food waste accounts for roughly 20% of all waste that ends up in our landfill – waste that emits methane gas and causes climate change. We are committed to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions across the city of Albany, and that is exactly what this program is doing. I would like to thank Commissioner Panunzio, Deputy Commissioners Zeoli and Giebelhaus and the Head of the Department of General Services for working with Radix and Friends of Tivoli Preserve to make this program possible, and Councilor Cathy Fahey, who has worked tirelessly for a program Food Waste Composting Program. I encourage each of our residents to take advantage of this innovative program, ”said Mayor Sheehan.