The objective of the SJC Composting Team is to create awareness around reducing food waste and to promote composting at home, at schools, other public institutions and commercial food establishments. We support education and coordination between community gardens and residents so that gardens, parks and other green spaces can become beneficiaries of healthy soil amendments created by recycling food waste by our community.Want to get involved? Contact us to discuss opportunities for participation. We hope that a network of community gardens & parks emerges to help in recycling neighborhood food scraps !!
SJC operates a unique type of food recycling known as Bokashi atSt. Paul’s P.E.A.C.E. Garden which uses activated microbes to break down food through fermentation. This is a great option for people in apartments without the outdoor space required for traditional composting. An added benefit is being able to recycle all forms of food waste, including meat, dairy, and oils.
How does the exchange program work?
With the exchange program you get a 5-gallon bucket and one pound of dried wheat bran that is infused with the activated microbes. All you do is fill up the bucket with produce scraps, leftovers, and spoiled food, sprinkling in the bran mix as you go. The full one pound bag of bran should be dispensed as the bucket is filled with food scraps, so once they 5 gallon bucket is filled, there should be no more bran left from the one pound supply. Once full, return the bucket for an empty one and some additional bran. Easy!
After two weeks SJC will take your fermented food waste and trench the material in one of several participating community gardens. Bokashi is also applied to traditional compost piles throughout the year to enhance and speed up the process in those piles.
Where do I go?
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church – 440 Hoboken Ave (short walk from Journal Square PATH) Jersey City NJ
Pick-up/drop-off times are between 10am and 2pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri and 3 to 7pm on Wed. Please call 201-963-5518 to reach the main office of St. Paul’s (host to the P.E.A.C.E. Garden) if you want to schedule a time to pick-up or drop-off.
Who do I contact about the program?
Tyler Randall – firstname.lastname@example.org
How much does it cost?
A $20 deposit will get you your first empty bucket and a bag of bran. All future bags of bran cost $5. A typical family of 2-4 people use one 5-gallon bucket and the corresponding one bag of inoculated bran. If you require more than one kit we can accommodate you but we recommend starting with one!
Click here to learn more about this composting alternative.
Much gratitude goes to Bokashi Master, Shig Matsukawa who is a key Education Partner for this pilot program at St. Paul’s.
Also, check out Brooklyn-based Vokashi, a small business in Brooklyn who has developed a social enterprise around recycling food scraps.
Option 1 - Compost at Home
If you are fortunate to have access to a backyard or outdoor space, that is the perfect place to have a compost system.
Here are two containers that you can purchase. Both are ideal for on-site composting:
How does Backyard Composting work?
Creating a productive compost bin is all about managing the ratio of “greens” and “browns”. “Browns” is a nickname for materials rich in carbon, like leaves, dried grass, and wood chips; “greens” is a nickname for materials rich in nitrogen, like fruit and veggie scraps, fresh grass clippings and coffee grounds. Micro-organisms in the compost pile break down these materials as they feed, relying on a healthy mix of carbon and nitrogen for their optimal growth. The rule of thumb for this balance is two parts green to one part well-packed browns.
Option 2 - Find a Garden
Jersey City has over 20 community gardens! Take a look at our interactive map to see which one is closest to your neighborhood. You can contact that garden to see what composting opportunities they offer.
Option 3 - Sign up with a third party
If you are not in the proximity of a community garden and you wish to have your food scraps picked up, please check out our friends over at Community Compost Company who are back-hauling food scraps to farmers in the Hudson Valley. Their pick-up service is available to residences and businesses in Hoboken and Jersey City.
Start at the Source!
Remember - The best way to prevent food waste is to be more conscious about the food we buy. Shopping lists and meal plans will not only reduce the amount of waste created, but save money as well.
Reference the EPA’s ‘Food Too Good to Waste’ Guide for more tips!