Zero Waste Comes to the Ithaca Farmers Market!
In the spring of 2007, the Ithaca Farmers Market moved toward a greener and more sustainable Market at Steamboat Landing. With a generous grant from Tompkins County Solid Waste, we adopted a Zero Waste Program. This is a new way of looking at our waste stream. Nothing is viewed as “garbage” but, instead, seen as a valuable “resource” to be managed and reused. Our goal was to eliminate the large quantity of garbage generated during Market and, in the process, become a model for other organizations looking to minimize their impact on the environment.
With the co-operation of our food vendors we switched to fully compostable utensils and partnered with a local company, Cayuga Compost, to take all of the waste produced at the Market and turn it into rich, fertile compost. This now can be used to grow more local produce! We also encouraged customers to bring their own reusable coffee mugs and containers to further reduce waste.
In 2008, in an effort to try to eliminate plastic shopping bags, we began providing low cost, reusable IFM shopping bags for customers. This enables many vendors to greatly reduce the number of bags that are passed out each day.
The Zero Waste initiative is an ongoing program that continues to evolve and grow. Check back to see what’s new during our 2009 season!