The City of Ames has extended an offer of rebate to residents outside of the city of Ames whose trash carriers haul to the City of Ames Resource Recovery Plant.


The program allows participants to turn their food scraps into nutrient-rich additives for gardens.


Several local haulers, Arends Sanitation, Chitty Garbage Service and Pratt Sanitation, all haul to the Ames recovery plant, and most Story County residents would find that their haulers do too, so most residents outside of Ames, but in Story County, are able to take part.


In a letter to all municipalities in Story County, City of Ames Stormwater Resource Analyst Liz Calhoun noted Ames’ commitment to advancing waste management and protection and enhancement of streams and watersheds.


“The Smart Trash and Smart Watersheds Programs have begun offering a rebate for citizens for the purchase and installation of composter units toward those efforts,” she writes. “We are extending this rebate to residents in Story County outside the city…”


Gavin Stone, owner of Pratt Sanitation, said he knows that organics have always been a difficult material stream for the system. “Organics contain a high percentage of moisture, which as I’m sure you can imagine, doesn’t suit itself to burning very well. In my opinion, anything we can do to keep resource recovery operating smoothly is a potential benefit.”


Calhoun shared that diverting food waste from the waste stream to compost benefits Ames’ Waste-to-Fuel Power Plant by increasing its efficiency. Transferring the food from waste to compost, which can be spread on gardens and lawns, enhances the vegetative cover and benefits watersheds.


“As a hauler … anything that helps the system operate efficiently and keeps trash from being landfilled is a plus,” Stone said, and he added, “Since we offer volume-based services, there is a potential for our customers to save money if they choose to use organics recycling to reduce the amount of trash they produce.”


Many types of composters, in various price ranges, can be found. The cost-share is for up to $50 and applications must be submitted within 30 days of purchase of the composter. Forms can be found on the City of Ames website: www.cityofames/smart.watersheds.