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August 21, 2014, 4:01 pm

Pilot program for food waste disposal in select areas

Residents of six blocks in West Oak Lane have be chosen to be part of a pilot program that partners the city of Philadelphia with InSinkErator, the world’s largest producer of food waste disposers.

New disposers are placed in 100 West Oak Lane homes, free of charge. The city will then test the volume and composition of waste generated during the pilot phase.

The blocks that are part of this pilot initiative are the 1900 blocks of Ashley Street, 73rd Avenue, Elston Street, Plymouth Street, and 72nd Avenue as well as the east side of the 7200 and 7300 blocks of 19th Street. The community partner for the initiative is the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation.

“This is the first time, that we’re aware of, that a major city is embarking on a program to reduce the waste it collects, encourage the use of disposers, and to measure the results,” said David MacNair of InSinkErator. “The city of Milwaukee encouraged disposers, but they had to be purchased. This will be cost effective for Philadelphia by reducing tipping fees for 68 tons. We’re glad Mayor [Michael] Nutter sees that this will be beneficial.”

The pilot program is also serving residents of Southwest Philadelphia. Those who live on the 1800 blocks of S. 19th Street, South 20th Street, and South 21st Street as well as the 1800, 1900 and 2000 blocks of Moore Street, McClellan Street, Sigel Street.

The community partner in Southwest Philadelphia is Diversified Community Services.

Volunteer energy coordinators Delores Harper and Verdell Peterson are already giving the program high marks in their Point Breeze neighborhood. The 100 waste disposers have already been installed in 100 homes in their community.

“I was a little skeptical because I have old pipes and old cabinets,” said Peterson“I have been freezing my trash for over 50 years, so this has been great. I love it and have been using it all the time.”

Harper, who is a renter and cannot get the disposer, said it was an easy sell for her neighbors who own their homes.

“It’s easy to operate, and all the homeowners are now telling me now that they have it they will never go back to freezing their trash,” she said.