Food Waste


Through our Food Waste Processing department, we seek to decrease the amount of local food waste being thrown into landfills and incinerators. Instead, we will recycle collected food waste into compost.

The State of Connecticut currently has a major trash issue.

Due to the heavy production of waste, half of our solid waste is sent out to other states to be processed. Over 300,000 tons of food waste is generated annually, with less than 50,000 tons of it being recycled. Bridgeport is home to the state’s second waste-to-energy plant and it is expected to run at capacity for the foreseeable future. Our mission is to rescue food waste from entering these facilities, and convert that food waste into compost.

How will we be composting food scraps?

Our pilot program will use a commercial composter, able to process 1000 lbs of food scraps daily. Within a 24 hours period, the food waste will have been mostly converted into compost with a 10x volume reduction. This will allow us to create a faster turnover rate than using traditional compost methods. Each compost batch will then sit in separate bins for up to three weeks to finish processing, and once complete, it will have become fresh, nutrient rich compost.

The compost generated will first be used in our vertical farm to support the growth of healthy produce, with any remainder will be available for purchase through our warehouse, as well as through partnering local nurseries and garden centers.

Where will we source our food waste?

We will be composting plant trimmings from our vertical farm and food waste from our produce and grocer businesses, as well as collecting food scraps within the Bridgeport community. Individuals will be able to sign up for our compost program, receiving clean 2 or 5 gallon food grade pails that will be collected by our volunteers (exchanged for a clean pail once a week). We will also be working with local grocery stores in the greater Bridgeport area. Food that cannot be donated to local food banks will be collected and processed in our facility.


We are currently in the start-up stage of this effort. Needs include:

  • Raising awareness of this new effort in the community
  • Accessing local produce while our vertical farm is becoming operational
  • Households outside the East/North Ends can support this effort by ordering their groceries from People 1st and picking them up at the warehouse or a corner store partner rather than having us incur the expense of delivering these orders.

Total initial funding need is estimated at $150,000.

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