Most frequent questions and answers
Households in the pilot program will be provided with two 15-gallon orange trash bags and one 8-gallon green food scraps bag per week to use for the duration of the pilot program. At home, residents will separate food scraps from their trash and place in the green bags. Non-recyclable trash will go in the orange bags. Each week on your regular collection day, residents will place their securely closed green and orange bags in the trash container for curbside pick up.
West Haven’s single-family homes and multi-family dwellings that include up to three units participate in the Co-Collection pilot program. Dwellings with 4 or more units do not participate.
Households (up to 3 units) will receive a postcard mailer with 2 green food bags. The mailer will also contain information on how to download an app to get a voucher for your supply of bags. We will have bag pick up locations set up at local retailers where you can redeem your voucher during the two weeks before the program begins.
Each household will receive enough bags for 2 orange trash bags (15-gallons each) and 1 green food scrap bag (8-gallons each) for each week of the pilot.
If you have any trouble with the app or making it to a pick up event, please contact West Haven Public Works using the contact information at the bottom of the page.
No. This program will not require you to change the containers you use for your trash bags. You can place both the orange trash bags and green food scraps bags together inside your trash container. Please ensure the bags are tied for disposal.
Residents are encouraged to be sure to recycle all they can and separate their food scraps to stay with in the allotted trash bags. Additional trash and food scrap bags will be available at local retailers. List to be provided at a later date.
The pilot program is free – you will be provided with an allotment of orange trash and green food scraps bags to use during the pilot. All trash must be placed in the provided orange trash bags in order to be collected and we encourage each resident to separate out food scraps as best they can. With rising disposal costs, it is important to separate out food scraps and recyclables from disposal. Learn more here.
Once collected, the green food scrap bags will be separated from the orange trash bags at the transfer station facility. The green food scrap bags will then be sent to Quantum Biopower in Southington, CT. Quantum is an anaerobic digestion facility that turns food scraps into clean, renewable energy and compost, saving it from the trash can.
No. Remember, co-collection is not adding new odors to your waste stream. It is simply separating food from trash. Food scraps in separate green bags produce no more odor than when it’s not separated from the trash. Keeping a tight lid on your indoor kitchen food scrap collection bucket will keep odors out. Rinsing kitchen buckets as needed and putting food scrap bags out for weekly collection (even if they are not full) should keep odors to a minimum. In the summer, you may choose to keep food scraps in the freezer in a separate container until just before collection.
Here are some additional tips:
Seal it. Keep the lid tightly closed at all times to prevent odors and nuisance pests like fruit flies.
Cool it. Store your bin out of direct sunlight if you can, as heat can speed up smells.
Cover it. You can also add in any newsprint, soiled paper towels, or napkins to your food scrap bag, as that might assist with any odors. Stale bread can also help here.
Freeze it. If you are finding that even with the lid the smell is off-putting, consider keeping a small container (such as a small bag or Tupperware-type bowl) in your fridge/freezer to collect the scraps before you transfer to the green bag and place out on your collection day. Nothing can stink when it is frozen! If you can’t fit all of your food waste inside the freezer, consider freezing meat and dairy scraps as they are often the smelliest.
Sprinkle it. If your kitchen pail smells, sprinkle a bit of baking soda inside to neutralize the smell.
Drain liquids before putting food scraps in your kitchen bin.
Include soiled paper towels and napkins to help absorb liquids.
Keep food scraps in freezer until just before pickup.
Wrap meat, poultry, and fish in newspaper.
To get rid of summertime fruit flies, set a trap. Place a small bottle of cider vinegar, with a few drops of dish soap added to it, near your kitchen bin.
Place your green food scraps bag out for collection every week, even if it is not full.
Backyard composting is great and encouraged! You may decide you want to use curbside co-collection for certain items (eggshells, meat, bones, and dairy, prepared foods) or to use in the winter.
To reduce the high cost of nitrogen processing at the wastewater treatment facility, we strongly urge residents to switch from in-sink disposals and use the curbside co-collection program for food scraps. It will also save on your water usage and produce usable fertilizer.
Reduce your food waste. Keep your refrigerator clean and organized so you know what you have before you shop. Store leftovers in clear containers so you can see what’s in them. Use a shopping list. Use your freezer. Reduce other household waste by avoiding single use disposable items and choose products with minimal packaging.
· Reuse: Use reusable shopping bags and coffee mugs. Repurpose glass jars at home. Donate household items and clothing. Consider cloth napkins.
· Recycle: Remember the basics: Recycle your paper & cardboard and empty bottles & cans. Items should be clean and dry and placed loose in your collection bin. Also, try the What’s In What’s Out tool at www.recyclect.com Type in the product you are wondering about and the tool will tell you if its recyclable.
· Compost: Place all your food scraps in the green bags! Fruits & Veggies, Eggs & Eggshells, Meat & Seafood (include bones and shells), Coffee Grounds & Tea Bags, Dairy, Pasta, Grains & Bread, Cookies, Cake, & Candy. You can also include food-soiled paper, such as napkins and paper towels, greasy pizza boxes. Please no plastic, no metal, no sanitary waste, no pet waste.
For more information, please contact the City of West Haven Department of Public Works
West Haven City Hall is open Monday through Friday 9am to 5pm.
City of West Haven 355 Main Street West Haven, CT 06516 203-937-3585 www.cityofwesthaven.com