The current Troy City Council took office on January 1, 2012, and will serve until December 31, 2013. In an effort to create a more sustainable city and a more engaged citizenry, the City Council formed the Citizens Working Group – Composting (CWG-C). The CWG-C is a research taskforce team, effective 6/15/2012 and terminating on 12/15/2012. It is a direct result of the unanimously passed city resolution introduced by Councilmember Rodney Wiltshire, and it is under the direction of the City Council’s Technology and Sustainability Committee. The 5-member working group has researched details for positive and negative factors with the implementation of a city composting program. The goal of such a program is to greatly reduce the volume and cost of municipal solid waste while building a potentially profitable and sustainable income for the future of Troy.

Who We Are

We are a volunteer group of citizens passionate about the development of a more sustainable, equitable City of Troy. We are not professional planners, systems engineers, nor soil scientists. We see clearly the need to improve Troy's solid waste cost and management, including the introduction of widespread composting. Representing a cross-section of Troy, this Citizens Working Group has taken a serious look at how and why Troy can focus on composting throughout the city. What we now propose has been the outcome of countless volunteer hours of researching, writing, interviewing professionals and experts, attending conferences, and visiting resource recovery sites.

We have learned much from the process, both for ourselves and for the city. We recommend that the City Council and Administration utilize this "Citizens Working Group" model to investigate solutions to other issues in Troy. The CWG model enables citizens knowledgeable and passionate about various topics regarding governance and municipal practices to participate in decision-making by providing information, perspectives, options, and recommendations to elected and appointed officials in positions to authorize changes, allocate funds, and provide governing structure for implementation and oversight.

An early discussion about the importance of composting for Troy elicited the following statements of what the group wants to achieve in a composting system:
  • It should move the city toward zero waste.
  • It should raise a healthy community, through food security, jobs, and awareness of waste.
  • The composting system should create fair, just, local jobs.
  • It should be municipally managed, or at least locally owned.
  • It should meet the specific needs of Troy's diverse neighborhoods.
  • Its efficiency should be measured by its ability to turn food waste into resources. It should close the loop of consumption, allowing food scraps to be collected and re-consumed.
  • It should promote food security by facilitating Troy citizens to grow food locally.
  • It should maximize the use of financial, human, and geographical resources.
  • It should help our community work together.
  • It should build a new industry.
  • It should help our community to understand its own consumption.

These guiding values have informed our research and deliberation process, and we feel that this report recommends a system that upholds these values.

The Citizens Working Group on Composting, December 2012

Anasha Cummings, Lucy Greetham, Abby H Lublin, Mary Alice Pasanen, Guy Schaffer