BEND, Ore. — Newport Ave. Market, a one-store operator here, has received the inaugural “Leadership in Composting Award”from the Oregon Refuse & Recycling Association.
The store launched its composting program in partnership with Cascade Disposal last May. In the first week of implementing the program, more than 2,100 pounds of food waste was collected for conversion into reusable gardening compost.
Over the past six months, Newport Ave. Market has collected an average of 8,000 pounds of food waste each month. Introducing the composting program has allowed the store to reduce its garbage contribution from 251 yards of garbage each month to only 104 yards, a decrease of nearly 60%.
“Not only have they achieved significant waste diversion though composting, but they are also actively increasing the community awareness of the local compost program and being a strong advocate for its success,” said Michelle Metzler with Waste Management of Oregon, in a statement.
Newport Ave. Market’s first priority is to donate lightly bruised produce and unsellable products to shelters in the community through its gleaner program. Bbiodegradable items that are not edible are put into the composting program. Cascade Disposal has provided Newport Avenue Market a secure container to dispose of food waste, such as meat, vegetables, seafood, bakery items, eggshells, coffee grounds, and more.
Once a week, the food waste is picked up and delivered to Deschutes Recycling, where it is composted and screened to remove oversized material, resulting in nutrient-rich compost. The compost is tested and will carry the US Composting Seal of Testing Approval, making it ready for sale to the public.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have been honored with the award,” said Rudy Dory, owner of Newport Ave. Market. “We all have the satisfaction of knowing we are helping reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill.”