As the city of Frederick develops its fiscal 2022 budget, several aldermen would like to see composting become a city priority.
Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak hopes to see a pilot program funded that covers the city’s downtown area — especially restaurants — to compost the food they throw away.
According to the nonprofit website foodprint.org, U.S. restaurants generate between 22 and 33 billion pounds of food waste each year, while schools, hotels, hospitals and other institutions produce another 7 to 11 billion pounds.
And according to moveforhunger.org, an average restaurant meal creates half a pound of food waste.
U.S. households generate 76 billion pounds of wasted food each year, per the nonprofit.
Composting is a little harder when people are living so close together, as they do in the city, Kuzemchak said.
At a December discussion of priorities for the upcoming fiscal 2022 budget, fellow aldermen Kelly Russell and Ben MacShane indicated support for a recycling program in the next budget.
Kuzemchak said she wants to learn more about how a program would work, which is information that a pilot program could provide.
Starting out slowly will allow city leaders to identify problems before a program expands to the whole city, she said.
She believes money saved by reducing the amount of material going to the landfill could help fund the program.