Free Drop-off Compost Site in Camp Washington Launches This Week

The Common Orchard's compost program can take up to 6,000 pounds of food scraps per week.

click to enlarge Common Orchard Project composting in action. - Photo: Provided by Green Umbrella
Photo: Provided by Green Umbrella
Common Orchard Project composting in action.
According to The Common Orchard Project, 30 percent of what goes into Hamilton County landfills could be composted and when landfill waste decomposes, it releases up to 20 percent of all methane emissions.

With those kinds of statistics, composting seems like a no-brainer. But it’s not easy to cultivate a compostable environment without education or resources. If you want to learn more about what you’re throwing away that could be used for compost and how to do it, the Common Orchard Project and Green Umbrella are launching a free, public drop-off program for you.

Beginning Thursday, May 11, the Camp Washington Perennial Farm is accepting fruits, vegetables, grains, coffee grounds and filters, spices, house plant clippings and soil or cut flowers. Drop-off is free and available 24/7 after filling out a sign up form which grants participants a bin code to unload materials.

The Common Orchard Project works to install and maintain hundreds of orchards across Cincinnati. It also provides fresh food and urban land management education, increased food access, tree canopy, greenspace and community building. Currently, the project has planted 27 orchards locally and three in Cleveland. It aims to install 10 orchards annually.

The drop-off program is launching in honor of International Compost Awareness Week (May 7-13). According to the Common Orchard Project’s website, nutrient-rich soil is created when bacteria and fungi break down organic matter. Food scraps are a nutrient-dense component that functions in the cycle, creating a “circular nutrient economy.”

The compost program was made possible by a USDA Community Composting Grant awarded to the City of Cincinnati’s Office of Environment & Sustainability at the end of 2021. A benefactor of that award, the Common Orchard Project, is working toward creating composting infrastructure at 20 community gardens in addition to their already active composting efforts, according to a press release by Green Umbrella.

“At full capacity, the compost program at Camp Washington Perennial Farm can take in up to 6,000 pounds of food scraps per week, producing 600 yards per year of highly valuable compost to be used on our site and other urban farm initiatives in the city,” The Common Orchard Project’s website states.

It also says that CO2 emissions are reduced through the program an amount equivalent to removing 626 vehicles from roads for an entire year.

A press conference is scheduled to formally announce the launch of the compost drop-off program on Thursday, May 11 at 2:30 p.m. at the Camp Washington Perennial Farm. Remarks from Mayor Aftab Pureval and Green Umbrella Director Ryan Mooney-Bullock among other speakers are on the schedule.

For more information on acceptable items and how to drop-off scraps, visit the Common Orchard Project’s website. The Common Orchard Project Perennial Farm is located at 3220 Colerain Ave.

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