The Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission and the city of Hilliard have been working together to create a new normal in waste diversion.
This was the first year that a food-waste composting system was operational. SWACO grant. GoZERO, our partner in this venture., has collected 25,863 lbs so far at the drop off location located near Alt Field’s baseball diamonds.
We are planning to expand this program in 2022 with additional drop-off points. Stay tuned for updates over the next year.
This year, we also saw Installation of our new Styrofoam densifierSWACO grant funding made it possible to also make this possible. This machine will allow for frequent collections, a shorter travel time to the user, and may allow for drop offs by appointment.
Since the machine was installed in the fall, we have had one collection. We collected approximately 500 pounds of material. This type of material takes up much space in landfills, so we have been collecting it and selling it to a third party to make other materials.
The next collection will take place at City Hall from 10 a.m. until noon Dec. 30, so keep an eye out for more information.
This year’s pumpkin composting collection was a fresh effort by the city. It was a great success. Between Halloween and December 1,500 pumpkins were collected. These pumpkins were then taken away to be properly composted. This will benefit gardening programs.
Another collection was for political yard signs. This year, there were approximately 250 frames and signs collected for recycling.
Several of our annual collections are also still a hit.
We collected 700 pounds Styrofoam, 5,580 lbs of electronics, many materials for Habitat for Humanity, and 12,500 lbs of paper that was shredded at our most recent Earth Day activities. These materials are properly reprocessed so they do not end up in landfills.
The Hilliard Community Center recycle binIt continues to be very popular. As a result, hundreds of pounds of batteries were recycled. Two large trash bags containing candy wrappers were also collected and sent off for recycling. TerraCycle.
The ESC has collected several bags of old Christmas lights at the recent tree-lighting event. You can refer to our website for additional collections. November Eye on the Environment columnLearn more about them.
Hilliard already has a high diversion ratio, but we still have a ways to go before we meet the 75% diversion target that SWACO set for our region in 2032. As we strive to make 2022 our most sustainable year, we will continue to grow and promote our efforts. We will also evaluate new innovative collections.
Pete Marsh is president and liaison to Hilliard Environmental Sustainability Commission.