Healthy Communities

Healthy Communities is a program led by the City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services to transform the way Charlotte residents view their health and the environment. This program was selected to test out new ideas and opportunities in the North End to provide localized benefits. This kick start has three parts:
  1. Interactive education on health impacts of the environment and the role they can take to improve the environment through waste management. Individuals learn how the air, water and soil connect to cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke and diabetes. Inclusive, innovative public events, like silent discos and work out parties are intended to get more people excited about the benefits of waste reduction, exercise, and healthy eating.
  2. Food Too Good to Waste participants take practical, every day steps to improve their health, the health of the community, and report out on waste diversion and health benefits.
  3. North End Community Gardens are also benefited by this project as they provide opportunities for composting and local fresh food source. Funds from this grant have been used to hire a gardener to assist with the gardens and to develop new community gardens at local public schools.
  4. Charlotte’s Solid Waste Services Department completed an 18-week curbside composting pilot in the North End Smart District. Members of the community were provided composting bins and guidance on how to compost, and the City then had weekly collections/pick-ups, and took it to Earth Farms Organic outside of Charlotte. The pilot was funded by a $10,000 grant from the North Carolina Department of Environment Quality. About 40 percent of the 100 households involved in the project participated regularly. 2.4 tons, or about 7 pounds of food waste per house per week was picked up to be composted and therefore diverted from the local landfill. Phase 2 is about to launch and will take place in 5 different parts of the city to continue piloting this concept.

Impacts

The results of the April - June survey are below. Download a PDF version of the impacts.

Summary:

  • Food waste is #1 item in household trash

Participation

Food too Good to Waste

Image shows 17 open slots

Composting Pilot Program

Image shows 7 open slots

Composting by the Numbers:

  • 10 weeks
  • 1.37 tons of food waste collected
  • 1.44 tons of reduced trash
  • 7 slots available for new participants