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OCRRA wins top environmental award for composting program

By Journal Staff


OCRRA's Amboy Compost Facility (file photo by Eric Reinhardt/ BJNN). OCRRA will receive the SWANA Gold Excellence Award in the composting category.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) has awarded the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) the SWANA Gold Excellence Award in the composting category.

SWANA’s Excellence Awards Program recognizes “outstanding solid waste programs and facilities that advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound solid waste management,” according to an OCRRA news release.

OCRRA will receive the award at SWANA’s annual conference, WASTECON, on Tuesday, Sept. 26, in Baltimore, Maryland.

OCRRA’s compost program is being recognized for:

  • engaging 7,000 school students each day in separating their food scraps for composting at the Amboy Compost Facility;
  • composting 15,000 tons of food scraps and generating 30,000 cubic yards of certified compost since 2013;
  • helping 450,000 Onondaga County residents achieve a nearly 60 percent recycling rate;
  • having the largest municipally managed food recovery program in New York state; and,
  • being the only municipal operation producing compost certified by the U.S. Composting Council’s Seal of Testing Assurance Program.

Using compost has many environmental benefits, OCCRA says, including maximizing nutrients in the soil to help plants grow, retaining moisture so plants don’t need as much water, suppressing the spread of plant disease in gardens, and reducing the need for chemicals and pesticides, which keeps pollutants out of the water supply.

OCRRA sells its locally made compost by the bag at more than 30 retailers in Central New York.

OCRRA is a not-for-profit public benefit corporation created by the New York State Legislature in 1990 to deliver a solid-waste management and resource-recovery system to Onondaga County residents.

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