Creative Engagement with Stakeholders for Long-term Success
Enthusiasm in Outreach--Using Community Outreach and Education as a Tool to Implement a Successful Food Scrap Collection Program.
New York City has been working hard to bring a curbside organics collection program to the residents of the city. This task is not without daunting challenges presented in part by the huge diversity that exists in New York. This diversity is present in both the built environment (buildings, neighborhoods, and infrastructure condition), but also in population (size, cultural and economic background, and language).
Through many trial and error attempts, New York has found a way to integrate education and outreach into their programming to bringthe city up to speed with their composting and food scrap collection programs. The author has worked in several roles alongside this process first one of the outreach associateswith the Department of Sanitation, and also as the educator for the city wide “Master Composter Certification” program which trains composting ‘ambassadors’ to help increase awareness surrounding compost and food waste reductions issues on a city wide basis. Both roles have a high priority in working in the fieldand with the public to help them understand the program, the effort, and the result. One of the key differences is that the outreach associates are working with the public who may have little to no interest in a food scrap collection program, while the Master Composters are eager to learn.
In this presentation I will discuss the challenges and successes of bringing a food waste collection program to a city as large and diverse as New York and how I believe that continued efforts in education and outreach can really make a difference in getting success rates for municipalities attempting to either integrate a new food waste collection service into their district, or to increase participation and reduce contamination levels in an existing program.