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Bend-area garbage cos. turning your trash into treasure

Food waste, yard debris are turned into three types of compost

(Update: Adding video, program now only in Bend)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Last fall, Cascade Disposal and Republic Services added all types of food waste to their yard debris recycle program.

Following a successful pilot program that included 600 customers, both disposal companies decided to introduce the program to all of its customers. Now, about 10,000 Bend customers of Cascade and Republic use the program, which costs $4.90 a month.

Through a four-month process, the food waste and yard debris is turned into compost.

 "So the material will come into us, and it will arrive either by residential, landscapers or commercial haulers,” said Ryan Sagan, operations supervisor at Republic Services.  “We then process it and pass it through a system of aerating it, watering it and conditioning it. About four months later, we turn it into a finished product."

The debris is broken down into three different types of compost: BioFine, ReGrow and SoilBuilder. BioFine is used as a top dressing for lawns. Regrow is a universal compost that is composed of yard debris and food waste, while Soil Builder is used as garden bedding.

“It’s nice that this is additional material that will now not go in the landfill,” Susan Baker of Republic Services said. “It will be made into compost that we sell at our Deschutes Recycling facility that customers can buy and put back into the ground, and it goes the full circle.”

Food waste is added to the 95-gallon yard debris container. About 2% of yard debris is food waste, according to Baker.  

The program is currently only available within the city limits of Bend, but Baker said they are looking to add the program to Redmond and Sisters.

Compost from yard debris and food waste can be purchased at Knott Landfill and Newport Avenue Market.

Bend / Central Oregon / Top Stories

Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.

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