County seeks participants for food waste program

Norfolk County is seeking 150 people willing to put their money where their talk of reducing food waste in area dumps is.

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The county wants participants in a 12-week pilot program to test subsidized FoodCycler units that take kitchen waste and grind it into usable compost, keeping the organics from ending up in a landfill.

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The subsidies mean the FoodCycler units, which generally retail for $400 to $700 can be purchased by the participants for either $150 of $300, depending on the model they choose.

Those in the program will be expected to track their usage and fill out an online survey at the conclusion of the 12 weeks, reflecting on their experiences.

The counter-top unit reduces food waste volume by up to 90 percent by grinding up fruit and vegetable scraps, meat, fish, dairy, bones, shells, pits, coffee grinds and filters.

The two versions of the machine that will be available through the county area the FoodCycler FC-30, which is also known as a Vitamix FC-50, and the FoodCycler Eco 5. The costs are being subsidized by both the county (by $100) and grants or discounts from FoodCycle Science and AAFC/Impact Canada to make them more affordable.

Those participating in the pilot program will keep their machines, which use about $2 a month in electricity and need replacement filters changed every three to four months.

Norfolk County residents who are interested must register online on a first-come, first-served basis with one unit per household allowed.

Registration begins on February 26 at noon.

Pick-up dates for the units are expected to be in early April.

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