City partnering with restaurants, residents for International Compost Awareness Week, May 6-12

Compost-A-Thon celebration planned for Saturday, May 12, at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex

City staff has provided 5-gallon buckets to participating restaurants for a composting initiative. Photo courtesy City of Sarasota

In celebration of International Compost Awareness Week — May 6-12 — the City of Sarasota is partnering with residents and businesses to help reduce the collective impact on the landfill and the environment, the city has announced.

The city’s Sustainability Department team and staff from local nonprofit Sunshine Community Compost are working with three local restaurants — Libby’s Café and Bar, Louies Modern and Muse at The Ringling — by supplying 5-gallon buckets “and training kitchen staff on how to collect pre-consumer food scraps,” a news release explains. “At the end of the week, the buckets will be transported to One Stop Landscape and Supply, where they can be composted into rich soil,” the release adds.

“This is an exciting public-private partnership and a great way to demonstrate the value of composting,” said Stevie Freeman-Montes, the city’s Sustainability Department manager, in the release. “We also think it may be eye-opening just how much solid waste gets diverted from the landfill, and we hope it will serve as a test run for potentially expanding these composting efforts to other restaurants throughout Sarasota.”

A representative of the TableSeide Restaurant Group — which owns the three participating restaurants — pointed out that getting involved in the initiative with the city was an easy decision, the release continues.

“It is important as a local business owner that our mission is to be environmentally responsible in all aspects of our restaurants,” said Lisa Seidensticker, TableSeide’s vice president of marketing, sales, and business development, in the release. “We are excited to participate and learn throughout this week and encourage other restaurants to explore this possibility.”

The city also has teamed up with Sunshine Community Compost for a “Compost-A-Thon,” the release notes. In that initiative, 100 residents have signed up to learn about composting, have agreed to compost their kitchen scraps all week long and have agreed to drop off the materials at designated community compost sites, the release explains.

A weigh-in celebration and lunch party is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, which is located at 1845 34th St. in Sarasota, the release points out.