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Home Government City Council Scraps Curbside Food Waste Pickup Pilot

City Council Scraps Curbside Food Waste Pickup Pilot

(PHOTO: Great idea for rotten food. Food scrap recycling kits will be offered to residents this Sunday at the farmer's market.)
(PHOTO: Food scraps will now be drop off only.)

After a contentious hour and a quarter debate, the Rye City Council voted 4-3 Wednesday to scrap Rye’s curbside food waste pickup program pilot that had been in place since 2019. “I’m looking at data that tells me that this program is not working in its current construct,” said Councilwoman Julie Souza. “So that is why I say let’s, stop this test. We ran a test. The test was not successful.”

The food scrap drop off program at Disbrow Park will continue, and the Council is also asking city staff, the DPW and the Sustainability program to look at other alternatives to improve the drop off program and expand food scrap recycling.

The debate was heated. “I would just say this when you have this much division, and yet we all share the same values, then we must be not quite getting it right,” said Councilman Josh Nathan. “I think it’s a massive kick in the teeth to hundreds of people who have supported and work hard on this program and I don’t understand the urgency to kill it. I vote no. I think this is a mistake.”

The roll call vote to suspend the curbside food scrap recycling program (yes vote suspends the curbside program):

  • Councilman Bill Henderson – Yes
  • Councilwoman Emily Hurd – No
  • Councilwoman Carolina Johnson – No
  • Councilman Josh Nathan – No
  • Councilwoman Julie Souza – Yes
  • Councilman Ben Stacks – Yes
  • Mayor Josh Cohn – Yes

Reached late Wednesday evening for a reaction on the curbside pilot cancellation, James Ward, chair of the Rye Sustainability Committee said “I’m disappointed but confident we will get to the right outcome eventually.”


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