Destiny USA and OCRRA collect 100,000 pounds of compost turning garbage into growth

Destiny USA generates129,000 lbs of compost

Picture this, more than 100,000 pounds of unwanted, or leftover foods. Then, instead of throwing that out, it's made into a sort of soil, used to help grow new things in our community.

That's what Destiny USA and Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency are working on now. In just four months, the restaurants and eateries of Destiny have generated more than 129,000 pounds of compost.

Here's how it works: OCCRA and Waste Management distributes special lock-and-seal bins to the eateries to collect food scraps.

Then, those scraps are taken to OCRRA's Composting Facility on Airport Road in Camillus. They're mixed in with yard waste, leaves, grass, and other clippings.

OCRRA calls it Nature's Recycling.

"It's a three-to-one mix, we take one part food waste, three parts yard waste materials and put it in long 80 foot piles, aerate it into blowers, increase the time it breaks down and becomes product," says David Nettle, a Recycling Specialist with OCRRA.

That mixture is made into a special sort of soil, used in community gardens around Syracuse, even in the roof of the OnCenter.

Destiny restaurants are happy to participate; they say it actually reduces the work load in the kitchen.

"I mean, we're going To have to throw it (the food) into something," says Bill Dougherty, General Manager of Auntie Anne's Pretzels. "you don't have to think about it, you just put it in the bucket, and you're done. You don't have to have someone carry it out, take it anywhere. It's all taken care of."

OCRRA can hold 1,000 tons of waste at its facility. It's asking the DEC for a permit to be able to increase its load.

Destiny and OCRRA's goal is to reach 150,000 to 200,000 lbs of compost next year.