Squares on CNY Green Bucket Project share Earth Day message


CLINTON — Kirkland Town Library, 55 1/2 College St., is hosting Art Show Earth Day 2022 — ongoing through the month of April — featuring a quilt created with squares made by CNY Green Bucket Project clients for Earth Day.

Each square features a special story, and the quilt will remain on display upstairs at the library.

Owner “Melissa” said she had been running CNY Green Bucket Project — www.CNYGreenBucketProject.com — for more than four years, on the side of teaching full-time until last fall, when she decided to join CNY Green Bucket Project full-time to “grow the business, serve more people and save our planet.”

CNY Green Bucket Project is the only residential food scrap collection service in the area.

“Food scraps take up the most room in the landfill and residential is the largest contributors of that food waste, more than restaurants, industry, grocery stores, etc.,” said Melissa. “A head of lettuce that goes into a traditional landfill can last up to 25 years, because it is mixed with other non-compostables and not moved to help with breakdown. Also food scraps create methane.”

Methane in landfills is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. However, Melissa explained that food scrap methane is 100% captured and kept out of the atmosphere through scrap recycling.

“Before starting this business, I asked OHSWA (Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority) how long it would take until residential food scrap collection would be like recycling collection,” she said. “Based on recycling, they guessed around 30 years, and that isn’t taking into account that food scraps cannot be collected by trash companies like recycling.

Melissa said, “Unlike recycling, food scraps are the heaviest and dirtiest part of trash. Also unlike recycling food scraps, recycling costs a fee to support the salaries and benefits of those who process it.”

When Melissa said she heard it could take at least 30 years before a scrap recycling service made its way to the Mohawk Valley, she discovered through research it could take even longer, and that it wouldn’t be an add-on to regular trash pickup services.

And although CNY Green Bucket Project, started in 2018, is not affiliated with any other scrap recycling business, Melissa said the concept has been growing across America for years.

“Knowing and learning all this, I couldn’t wait to start and so I started the business ASAP,” she said. “We have been growing ever since.”

As a group so far, CNY Green Bucket Project clients have saved more than 62,000 pounds, or 32 tons of food scraps from going directly into the landfill. The food scraps are processed by OHSWA and 100% of the methane is captured to keep it out of the atmosphere.

And this is where the Earth Day 2022 project comes in...

To celebrate Earth Day 2022, CNY Green Bucket Project bought and distributed quilt squares to its more than 100 clients. Each client was offered to decorate the square if they wished. The completed quilt squares were then returned to CNY Green Bucket Project for assembly.

“I quickly put the quilt together for this impromptu showing at the KTL for the month of April,” Melissa explained. “Next, I am going back to my clients to write a little bit about their quilt square, so we can create a book/pamphlet referencing them.”

To see CNY Green Bucket Project’s Earth Day 2022 quilt, it may be viewed during regular library hours. Earth Day is Friday, April 22.


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