Does it surprise you to know that 40% of the food produced for human consumption in the US goes to waste? That over 90% of that waste ends up in the landfill?

Organic waste decomposing in a landfill produces methane gas – a greenhouse gas with 25 times the global warming potential of CO2. In fact, food waste contributes significantly to climate change (perhaps as much as 8% of anthropogenic greenhouse gases globally).

Taking steps to reduce food waste all along our food’s journey from field to mouth is essential. You can read more about food waste, including tips to reduce food waste, on our website.

There will always be some food that is not used, and it is important to keep that waste out of our landfills. That means composting! While we offer backyard composting workshops each year, there are lots of other composting opportunities available in our area.

Indeed, with increasing awareness about the impact of food waste on our planet, more and more people want to compost. Here are some current opportunities available in our area. If you are aware of others, please let us know (

Adirondack Worm Farm

This vermiculture business includes curbside compost collection in the Glens Falls region as well as products made from worm castings from the 20,000 worms on the farm. Products can be purchased on-line to use as a potent plant fertilizer.

Ballston Spa Compost Initiative

In this entirely volunteer organization, local composters regularly pick up appropriate food scraps from restaurants and soup kitchens for their own needs. While Covid-19 has led to a decrease in the amount, this initiative still has an impressive statistic: in 1 ½ years, they have collected 11 tons of material.

Community Composting

The purpose of this type of program is to offer a food scrap drop-off site for community residents who are not able to do their own composting. After a brief and successful pilot program (held at Pitney Meadows Community Farm), Sustainable Saratoga is hoping to find the means to provide this option for interested composters on a long-term basis.

Earthen Gold Farms

They collect food scraps (not residential) and compost in 3 ways: worms, traditional, and Bokashi. Products include chemical free fertilizers, worm castings, planting soil mix, and wheat grass, sold in a variety of shops in the area (listed on website). Chris does trainings about vermiculture and Bokashi composting.

Food Scraps 360

Offers curbside compost collection in Albany & Schenectady counties, and helps organize zero waste events in the area. or

Grow Amsterdam

Operates community gardens and a compost drop-off site. For fun and compost, they collected Jack-o-lanterns after Halloween last year and had fun smashing them to speed the compost process. Stay tuned to see where this new group is going next!

Loving Earth Compost

Curbside collection in and around Saratoga Springs. This is a brand-new business offering residential compost pick-up.

Natural Upcycling

The service area of this compost collection business now covers 8 states in our region. Many of their clients are large institutions or businesses: Skidmore and Union Colleges, SUNY Albany, and many Hannaford grocery stores. While Covid-19 has decreased their restaurant clientele, they do serve Salt and Char in Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga Springs Farmers’ Market

Squashville Farm collects food scraps at the weekly Market. The scraps are used to feed the chickens and for compost. or

The Farm at SUNY Adirondack

This is part of a SUNY degree program in Agricultural Business, providing an introduction to farming and required business skills. The farm collects compostable waste from campus food services, offices, residence halls and the Culinary Arts program (as well as their restaurant, Seasoned, in Glens Falls). Finished compost is used on farm gardens and orchard, maintained by students in classes under the supervision of the farm manager.

Sustainable Saratoga Compost Workshops

Since 2017, these free workshops have given more than 350 people the information needed to set up and maintain a backyard compost bin. Although it was necessary to cancel all workshops in 2020 due to Covid-19, we plan to continue to educate and encourage people to become independent composters. In addition to our actual workshops, we now offer an online tutorial on our YouTube Channel.

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