Beginning Oct. 15, the Town of Darien will begin a residential food scrap recycling program at the Darien Recycling Center, 126 Ledge Road. The program is partially funded by an Innovation Grant from the RecycleCT Foundation and is part of the Town’s continued commitment to divert waste from incineration and increase recycling. Food is the single largest component of municipal solid waste nationwide, according to Environmental Protection Agency.

The drop-off will be adjacent to the transfer station building, and will be accessible to any resident with a valid permit (sticker) to enter the Darien Recycling Center. All food scraps will be accepted, including fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry (including bones), fish, dairy products, bread and pasta, rice and grains, egg shells, chips and snacks, nuts and seeds, and leftover and spoiled food.  Coffee grounds, tea bags, and cut flowers will also be accepted.  All stickers, rubber bands and ties must be removed from produce, and no plastic bags, plastic packaging or wrappers will be permitted.

The food scraps will be hauled to a commercial composting facility, where they will be processed into nutrient-rich soil which is sold to farmers, landscapers and garden centers. The town will purchase a quantity of compost to give back to residents in late April, around Earth Day.

To make getting started and participating easy, a limited number of food scrap “starter kits” will be available for residents to purchase for $25 each (cash only). The kits include a small (two-gallon) kitchen collection pail, a roll of compostable bags, a larger (6-gallon)  bin for accumulating full bags and transporting them to the drop-off site, and a food scrap recycling guide. The kits will be sold at the Darien Recycling Center beginning Saturday, Oct, 13, from 9 to 1 p.m., and each of the following Saturdays through Nov. 10. After Nov. 10, kits and additional rolls of compostable bags may be purchased through the Department of Public Works Office at Darien Town Hall, 2 Renshaw Road. The starter kits are for convenience only and are not required to participate in the program. Any container with a snug-fitting lid can be used and can be lined with a compostable bag, a brown paper bag, or no bag. Please direct any questions to via email to recycle@darienct.gov.