Composting would help make FL area even better

To the Editor:

After living away for many years in the two largest cities in New York, I recently moved back to the Finger Lakes. It has been a positive experience for sure. My favorite things about the area include the friendliness of the folks who always greet you when walking at the lake, short commute times, all the live music and the easy access to local fruits and vegetable.

I’ve been composting or sustainably disposing of my food waste since I have lived here, and unfortunately this is one area where the Finger Lakes does not excel! It’s hard to ignore this fact when coming out the door and smelling the gases produced by our landfills because we are not disposing of our waste sustainably.

It’s not just that the smell is unpleasant either; our air is full of harmful amounts of fine particulate air pollution. Ammonia, sulfides, carbon dioxide and methane are all released from the landfill. According to the 2012 environmental impact study performed by the firm of Barton and Loguidice these amounts are present in harmful amounts in our air. The results of breathing in these particles is not pleasant.

I have found the best solution to dealing with all of my food waste is to become part of Growing Cycle, a group that works in partnership with Closed Loop Systems in Seneca Castle. The cost is minimal ($20/month) and free for wards 5 & 6 in the city, but this winter when additional trenches will be built at the transfer station, you can drop your own. Waste Not Shop downtown also will accept your food waste. As a member of Growing Cycle you simply put all your organic waste (including meat and paper) into their bucket on Tuesday when they pick it up for you. Their way of dealing with this food waste is simple and ultra sustainable. They use microorganisms and worms to naturally break down your food waste in shallow trenches, and at the end of 6 months they have nutritious fertilizer products that they distribute to their customers. It’s easy to see why this is a better solution to the one most of us currently use.

According to Jakob Fox of Closed Loop Systems, 80% of our waste goes directly into the landfills.

We all realize how unique and livable this area is. We can do better to make it stay that way! If anyone wants help composting or has any questions about composting or Growing Cycle, simply email me at



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