continued Jean Bonhotal, a composting specialist with Cornell Waste Management Institute, suggested finding new uses for the product and developing better relationships with private businesses. She also said marketing the compost to homeowners and residents by bagging it could raise revenue and awareness of the product.
Rain found compost facilities mostly break even because they are operated by counties and are able to charge tipping fees to the municipalities served. Because Bethlehem is a town, he said it is harder to be self sufficient. Some facilities also make other products like mulch.
Councilman Kyle Kotary suggested initiating talks with smaller, local municipalities like the Town of New Scotland. He said it may be more cost effective for all involved if smaller towns closed their facilities and used Bethlehem’s. Rain said that idea may not work because of the size of the site and staffing.
Councilwoman Joann Dawson suggested placing ads in local newspapers as soon as possible to begin marketing the town’s compost and looking into what was needed to bag the product.
Rain suggested revising hours of operation, developing a marketing plan and researching the cost of adding new products like blended topsoil. He also suggested evaluating a new rate schedule for debris pick up and the cost of compost for residents.
“Most of our product is given away for free, which is a great service, but it is why we don’t make money,” said Rain.