New composting program sprouting up in City of Charleston

New composting program sprouting up in City of Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new initiative is sprouting up in the City of Charleston for food composting.

Through a $7,500 gr ant from State's Department of Health and Environmental Control, restaurants between Lee Street to Milford Street along the upper peninsula will have the ability to recycle food scraps.

"Banana peels, eggs shells," Bees Ferry facility manager Harvey Gibson said, explaining the biodegradable food that would apply.

Gibson started the food compost program in Charleston County in 2012.

Food waste is brought to the Bees Ferry site and the product comes full circle.

"We mix it up, we use three parts carbon, one part food waste and that's a our combination for food waste row," Gibson said.

60-90 days later, the product is sold for people and businesses to use for their soil.

"We sell out so fast, we don't actually have any product except for that small pile over there," Gibson said. "We're always begging for food waste."

Gibson is excited the City of Charleston is now bringing a plate to the table.

The gr ant will mainly cover the cost for a company to haul the waste to the Bees Ferry facility.

Butcher and Bee is a restaurant in the Upper Peninsula that would be included in the initiative.

Co-owner Tomer Oliel says they've already been composting, but they're happy to see the city make this move.

"I think it's the right thing to do, giving back the little bit of scrap that we have back to the environment," Oliel said.

Right now, Butcher and Bee pays Smart Recycling to pick up the food waste a few times a week.

Oliel admits it's a pricey effort.

He's happy the City of Charleston is joining the effort so restaurants don't have to independently finance the cause.

Meanwhile, Gibson is excited to see the composting program grow and the piles of food waste multiply.

"It's much better to turn it into a usable product that finished compost than it is to bury it in a landfill and wait for umpteen years and just let it sit there," Gibson said.

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