Town of West Hartford, CT
Frequently Asked Questions
Households on the Monday pilot neighborhood collection route will be provided with free bags to use during the 9-month pilot. Each household in the pilot will be provided enough bags to use up to two 15-gallon orange trash bags and one 8-gallon green food scraps bag per week. To participate, residents will separate food scraps from their trash and place their food scraps into the green bags. Non-recyclable trash will go in the orange bags. Each week on Monday, residents will place their securely closed green bags in the green cart provided by Blue Earth and place their orange trash bags in their normal trash cart and place both carts at the curb for pick up. Recycling remains the same.
One week before the program begins, households on Monday’s route will receive a door-to-door delivery of their free bags and a how-to instructional flyer.
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.
For trash disposal, we are asking you to use ONLY the special heavy-duty Orange Trash Bags. We are building the habit of using special town trash bags that help “meter” your household’s trash.
No. This program will not require you to change the containers you use for your trash bags. You will simply place the orange trash bags inside your existing trash cart. Please ensure the bags are tied for disposal.
Residents are encouraged to recycle all they can and separate their food scraps to stay with in the allotted trash bags. If you find you need additional bags, please contact the Town of West Hartford, using the contact information at the bottom of the page.
The pilot program is free – households on Monday’s pilot route will be provided with an allotment of orange trash and green food scraps bags to use during the pilot. Residents are encouraged to use the provided orange trash bags and we ask each resident to separate out food scraps as best they can and place them in the green bags. 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 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, food scraps 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 food scraps 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.
Become a community champion! We are looking for residents to step up and share their experiences with the pilot program with the rest of the community. This could involve helping to plan/host/attend an event that will educate the public on the waste crisis and tips to reduce waste.
Raise your voice: Write an op-ed! Contact your local leader! Make a post on social media about your experience with the program! We want to hear your questions, concerns, or ideas to make the program better and more accessible.