FAIRFIELD — A new composting program is encouraging residents to make the most of their food waste.

The Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF) and Recycling Department and Commission has launched a pilot program to encourage Fairfielders to recycle food waste through either home composting or curbside pickups. The program’s creators are working to cut down on food waste, which is a major source of the greenhouse gas methane.

To encourage at-home composting, SFTF member Mary Hogue and Fairfield resident Dan Martens will be holding free seminars demonstrating how to compost food scraps at home. In addition to these lessons, attendees will receive a free under-sink composting bin and sample composting bags, as well as a discount on a backyard bin. Seminars will be held at 12 noon on July 31 at the Fairfield Woods Branch Library and Aug. 8 at the Fairfield Main Library.

The pilot program also aims to increase composting through a curbside pickup initiative. This program is ideal for residents who cannot easily compost at home, and the drop-off system is able to accommodate many items not suitable for home composting. The service costs $32 per month, but the SFTF is currently offering a free month of pickup to the first 20 Fairfield residents who sign up.

This pilot program is funded by a $1,000 grant from Novamont, a bioplastics company. Martens, who is the vice president of Novamont’s North American operations, secured the grant.

Both initiatives were designed to decrease Fairfield’s food waste, as well as educate residents about the benefits of composting. Becky Bucknell, a Flood and Erosion Control Board member who developed the pilot program in collaboration with the SFTF and the town, emphasized the advantages of composting.

“Recycling food waste has a considerable payback, helping to cut emissions of harmful greenhouse gases as well as the cost of trash hauling and disposal,” Bunnell said. “Residents who turn their food waste into compost at home see the benefits first-hand, in healthier gardens and lawns. We want to encourage residents to learn more about just how beneficial and easy it is to recycle food that is otherwise wasted.”

rscharf@hearstmediact.com