Let the composting begin.

Starting Monday, residents and businesses can bring food waste to a composting facility on the same property as the Trash Transfer Station.

Food waste can be brought there between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays, though the hours will increase as the program grows. The tip fee will be $65 a ton or about 3 cents a pound. A $10 minimum applies to food waste as well as trash and yard waste.

In a press release, Teton County Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling stressed that the new program is for food only. That means no paper products, and no compostable or biodegradable plates, cups or service ware.

Additionally, no shellfish is allowed, including the meat and shells or exoskeletons for shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels, scallops and oysters.

“ISWR and its composting contractor, Terra Firma Organics, want to ensure the cleanest, highest quality end product,” the press release said.

What is allowed are meat and bones, eggs and eggshells, vegetables and vegetable scraps, fruit and fruit scraps, cheese and bread.

Find a “yes-no” illustration at TinyURL.com/19u290pw.

Food waste can be brought to the composting facility bagged or unbagged in 5-gallon or larger containers.

“Notify the scale attendant of your food waste and directions to the drop-off location will be given,” the Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling press release said. “Food waste brought bagged will have to be tipped from the bags at the facility by the customer. Any nonfood waste found will be returned or your load may be rejected.”

Anyone with more than 300 pounds should notify the Transfer Station Scale House at 733-7172 before arriving.

Businesses can find a food waste implementation tool kit at TinyURL.com/4nn66f45.

The new program is another step in the county’s Road to Zero Waste initiative. It is estimated that 40% of the waste sent to the landfill is compostable food matter.

The business tool kit outlines the benefits of a composting program:

“Sending unsorted food waste to the landfill contributes to greenhouse gas emissions,” it says. “In Teton County, this includes increased CO2 emissions in transporting heavy loads to the landfill over 100 miles from town and increased methane production as food waste decomposes anaerobically in the landfill.”

Another benefit: “Properly collected food waste can be recycled as compost, a nutrient-rich soil amendment, which can replace synthetic chemical fertilizers on local farms, gardens and landscaping.”

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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