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City of Lancaster Receives $15,000 Healing the Planet Grant

August 19, 2021 | Department of Public Works Solid Waste & Recycling Program

The City of Lancaster announced today it is the recipient of a $15,000 Healing the Planet grant from The GIANT Company and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful to help build environmental stewardship by connecting families with community green spaces.

With this grant, the City of Lancaster will work with Lancaster Compost Co-Ops to expand its community composting program to four additional park sites: Sixth Ward Park, Reservoir Park, South End Park and Buchanan Park.

Funds will be used for materials and labor to build compost boxes, purchase composting tools, as well as supporting education and outreach activities.

Lancaster Compost Co-Ops presently has community composting sites at the Lancaster City Recycling Drop Off Center and Musser Park, with a new community bin launching on Sept. 1. The “Behind Culliton Park” bin will be located just behind Conlin Field, at the intersection of Conestoga, Union, and Filbert Streets.

To date, the initiative has more than 60 members ranging in age from 14 to 74 years old, and also takes in approximately 1200 lbs. of compostable materials from Lancaster Central Market per month. Compost co-op membership is free, with members expected to participate in an orientation session and contribute approximately one hour of work per month for bin maintenance activities.

Community composting sites offer opportunities for engaging citizens in environmentally related conversations and stewardship and bring people together with a shared sense of purpose and neighborhood involvement, in addition to providing opportunities for art and education. For more information and to get involved, visit the Lancaster Compost Co-Ops website, www.lancastercompost.us.

A total of 33% of the municipal waste stream is compostable, between food waste, yard trimmings and non-recyclable paper, according to data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In Lancaster City, over 30,000 lbs. of food waste have the potential to be composted annually. The benefits include production of a useful soil amendment, in addition to waste management system cost savings and carbon emissions reductions.

Lancaster was among 42 recipients of the grant, which aims to build environmental stewardship by connecting people and families to community green spaces, support environmental restoration efforts, and build community gardens. Funding for the grants was provided by customers at GIANT, MARTIN’S, and GIANT Heirloom Market stores who agreed to round up their grocery purchase to the nearest dollar from March through May.