City and local businesses get scrappy to transform food waste into a resource

The cores, peels or other discards of food made to prep a meal or snack can find their way back in to the ecosystem thanks to a new pilot program through the City of Lansing, Hammond Farms and Delta Institute.
Live Green Lansing's Scraps to Soil encourages businesses and residents to keep food waste out of landfills or wastewater through composting. Supported through a $91,131 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and support from the Capital Area Recycling and Trash (CART), the program is a balance of shaping perceptions and awareness, as well as engaging businesses and community members in green initiatives that benefit the planet.
"When most people hear of cities that are green or sustainable, they don't think of Lansing," says Natalie Molnar, program coordinator, Live Green Lansing. "But we're right up there with other cities like Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids. Our overall goal is to change the public's perception of food scraps as a waste product, and show they can be a product that has benefit when it's turned into compost that nourishes the soil."
In Scraps to Soils, participating businesses have their food scraps collected by Hammond Farms who then turns it into high quality soil compost is donated to local community gardens. Since its launch in September 2016, the initiative has collected 128 cubic yards of food scraps that will generate about 213 cubic yards of finished compost.
About 12 businesses currently participate in the pilot. The goal is 25. Businesses range in size and include the Allen Neighborhood Center, Biggby #270, Blue Owl Coffee, The Cosmos, Zoobie's Old Town Tavern, Lansing Fire Station #1, Juice Nation, Lansing Brewing Company, Lansing Catholic High School, Midtown Brewing Company, Soup Spoon and Sparrow Hospital.
"Our hope is that residents will support businesses that are participating in Scraps to Soil and understand the value of composting," says Molnar. "It's something new to Lansing that we'd like to continue."
Scraps to Soil is currently being offered to businesses in Metro Lansing, with expansion plans in the works for East Lansing, Delta Township and adjacent areas. For more information on Live Green Lansing or to find out how to parcipate in the Scraps to Soil pilot program, contact Natalie Molnar here or call 517-702-6597.
Source: Natalie Molnar, Program Coordinator, Live Green Lansing
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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