Lakeside Farmers Market initiates food scraps recycling program

Greenwood Lake. Residents can divert food waste from landfills and eventually reap a bag of bag of compost.

| 17 Jul 2023 | 11:24

When the Lakeside Farmers Market manager Karen Wintrow discovered that food waste in Orange County represents 18 percent of the solid waste landfill system, she decided to do something about it.

So Wintrow, together with the Orange County DPW’s Division of Environmental Facilities & Services Recycling Coordinator Ermin Siljkovic and Grow Local Greenwood Lake’s Chad Pilieri, have put in place a food scraps recycling system to increase opportunities for Greenwood Lake residents to divert scraps from local landfills.

“Forty percent of the food that we cultivate in the U.S. gets trucked hundreds of miles away to a landfill where it just gets buried and decomposes anaerobically releasing emissions into the ozone layer, depleting the ozone layer and exacerbating global warming,” Siljkovic said. “Whereas when you compost your food scraps they are some of your heaviest, more putrescible parts of your waste stream that are more likely to decay.”

Composting food scraps locally in an aerobic environment through a composting system like the one that Grow Local Greenwood Lake offers free to residents allows the organisms that are just naturally in food, in wood chips and in the ground break down that material and emit less gases to the detriment of our environment.

Instead, it replenishes that carbon back into the soil where it actually helps plants.

How the system works

“The ideal thing is that you come and drop them off the farmers market and then next year or a few months later you come back and then you’re able to just get a bag of compost that’s soil rich full of microorganisms, helping the microbiome in the soil,” Pilieri said. “It’s a better alternative, rather than just throwing something away into some anonymous landfill; it comes back to you as something you can use and reintroduce into the environment.”

Residents can bring seedless fruit and vegetable scraps, non-greasy food scraps, rice, pasts, bread, grains, cereal, coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells, nuts, cut flowers, houseplants or soiled brown paper.

Don’t bring, however, any of the following: meat, fish, bones, dairy products, fat, oil, greasy food scraps, animal waste, charcoal, coconuts, insect-infested plants, plastics, twist ties, rubber bands or receipts.

Lakeside Farmers Market collects food scraps each Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. now until Oct. 28,at its location at Winstanley Park on Windermere Ave. (across from Chase Bank).

First annual farm-to-table dinner

Grow Local Greenwood Lake is also inviting residents to join its first annual farm-to-table dinner on Friday, Sept. 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the outdoor Elks Pavilion, 35 Chestnut St., Greenwood Lake.

For $75 per person, guests will enjoy a feast if culinary delights prepared by local chef, Jamie Heller (Village Buzz). Every element of this feast will be carefully curated, highlighting the freshness and quality of ingredients from local farmers and artisans.

To learn more about the Lakeside Farmers Markets and its unique array of vendors, click on