DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — In honor of September being “Hunger Action Month,” the Dayton Foodbank hosted a special event on Sept. 21 to show people how to re-purpose their food waste.

Composting is easier than ever at the Foodbank’s composting facility in Dayton. When you drop off a full bucket, the contents inside are turned into nutrient-dense soil that fuels the Foodbank’s urban garden that produces more than 4 million pounds of fresh produce annually.

Data shows between 30-40% of all waste that ends up in landfills is organic and could have been composted. Produce, meat, napkins, and bones can all go into your composting container.

When you’re ready, drop off the bucket at the composting facility located at 56 Armor Place and receive a new bucket to take home.

Stephanie joined the composting program with the Foodbank in January and says their process makes it easier than ever.

“It’s really, really easy to do, and I’d like to get my neighbors involved,” Stephanie said. “I’d like to get my friends and my family involved. I’d like to have as many people composting as possible just so we don’t have all of this waste ending up in the landfill.”

The Ohio Organics Council is partnering with organizations across the state that use composting technology to innovate. 

Tim Steckel, founder of the Compost Marketing Agency, talks about why the Foodbank in Dayton was chosen to kick off a five-part series on the value and ease of the composting process.

“The Foodbank here is a pioneer in what they’re doing. They’re one of the first food banks in the United States to implement a composting system,” Steckel said.

Composted materials mix with other organic compounds for two or three weeks. Then, it is removed to cool and cure for another two months. After that, the big pieces will be separated to reveal the final product – nutrient-dense soil.

The Foodbank uses this new organic material in their urban garden. Food from the garden feeds thousands of people in three Miami Valley counties.

Amber Wright, Development and Marketing Coordinator for the Foodbank, says composting is a key step in the process.

“We have some of the freshest food around here at the Foodbank with our urban garden being literally 300 feet away from where we distribute the food.” Wright said. “A lot of times, we are able to harvest it, walk it over that 300 feet and get it out within an hour.”

This is the first of five events hosted by the Ohio Organics Council to help people become more aware of the importance of composting. There will be four or more events leading up to International Composting Awareness week next May.

To learn more about the compost program, visit the Dayton Foodbank’s website.