The ROC City Compost Pilot Program at Cobb’s Hill

The ROC City Compost Pilot Program at Cobb’s Hill

[12/29/21 Roc City Compost Tent, David Kramer with banner. Photo: Nylissa Hawkins. All other photos by David Kramer]

There is always something new at Cobb’s Hill. This year, I’ve often seen the ROC City Compost Pilot Program (BELOW) tent next to the Lake Riley Lodge, located near the entrance of Cobb’s Hill Park, at the corner of Culver Road and Norris Drive. Yesterday I finally took a closer look. (SEE ENTIRE COBB’S HILL SERIES AT END)

I met two enthusiastic compost workers. Courtland Akime is in Ground Equipment Operations for the Rochester Department of Environmental Services.  Nylissa Hawkins is a D.E.S. intern, studying Environmental Sustainability at Monroe Community College. Every Wed and Saturday between 35 and 50 people drop off their food waste and pick up compost corresponding to the weight of what they brought.  About 1000 people have signed up for the pilot program that has locations at Cobb’s Hill and Genesee Valley Park.

(left) Courtland Akime, Julia Bryce, and Nylissa Hawkins. Julie delivered her mother Karen’s compost. Karen composts “everything and anything.” (right) Andrea Jordan and Nylissa. Andrea had been doing home compost and was thrilled to use the program. On her first visit, she brought 19lbs she had accumulated.

Nylissa is particularly ebullient, seeming to know the name of each composter. She noticed that Rodney had his hair cut since last time, commenting that he looked younger. Appreciating the attention, Rodney promptly added some muffins to the stack of treats others had given Nylissa and Courtland. Nylissa remembered that Andrea Jordan brought 19 pounds on her very first visit. Of course, Nylissa knew the record received and returned: 74 lbs.

(left) treats donated by Karen Emerson, Ruth Childs, Rodney and Pamela Lee; (right) Nylissa with tools of the trade: banner, pliers, zipties, hand warmer, backup scale and gloves

At the same time, Courland provided the muscle as he moved each filled container onto the city truck.

(left) compost; (right) filled containers

While I was there, a steady stream of composters came and went, each committed to both saving the environment and money. The pilot program is a great success.

The steady stream of customers

Courtland weighing Patrick Lynch’s compost. After an 8 year hiatus in D.C.. Patrick is back in Rochester. Patrick actually prefers Rochester, but wished the city was less segregated and also more bike-friendly.

ROC City Compost Pilot Program

What is composting?                                                                                                                                                                                                               ROC City Compost Top Logo (2)

Composting is the practice of separating organic waste (food waste and more) from regular land-fill bound household garbage so that it can be processed into a nutrient-rich material (compost) that can improve soil quality. After preparing or enjoying a meal, food scraps from your plate and cutting board (and more) can go into a compost bin provided by the City. By separating your food scraps at home, you are helping to send less waste to the landfill and instead recycle it into compost so that we can create a healthier environment for everyone.

Why compost?

Rochester’s Community-wide Climate Action Plan recommends the implementation of an organics collection and composting program to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and, as a result, reduce landfill greenhouse gas emissions (methane) that worsen climate change. Through composting, food scraps can be turned into nutrient-rich soil that can be used for gardening and potting household plants that filter oxygen in our homes.  The ROC City Compost Pilot program is part of the City’s larger Food Waste Reduction, Donation and Organics Recycling Program. The City of Rochester believes that “Food Is Treasure” and that we can turn “trash” into treasure. Learn more about the City’s Food Waste Prevention, Donation and Organics Recycling program and “Food Is Treasure” Food Waste Education Guide here.

How does the ROC City Compost Pilot program work?

 1. Sign-up or call 311 to participate in the program.

UPDATE: The ROC City Compost Pilot program has reached capacity and is no longer accepting new sign-ups. Thank you to all those who signed up to participate in the pilot. We look forward to seeing you at one of the weekly drop-off locations.      

2. You will receive confirmation email along with a brief survey.

3. Complete the survey to receive a toolkit of materials (program guide, acceptable materials list, drop-off locations and schedule, small countertop bucket, larger collection bucket, and biobag liners for your bucket).

4. Follow the guidelines in your toolkit to collect food waste in your bucket.

5.  Every week, bring your large bucket of food scraps to one of the City’s drop-off locations (see below).

6. At the drop-off location, City staff will sign you in, weigh your bucket of food waste, empty it and hand it back to you so that you can continue to collect food waste and drop-off on a weekly basis. The collected food waste will be transported to a processing facility to be recycled into compost.

compost flyer resized



Will the world end on Friday? Only Audrey knows, and she’s not telling.

Sectional Extravaganza on Culver Road

The Battle of the Birds: Eagles and Silverhawks return to Cobb’s Hill in a barnburner

The umpires are back in business at Cobb’s Hill

Atop Cobb’s Hill, the Magic 8 Ball is asked: “Will the world end on Thursday?”

Cobb’s Hill is closed for business (only a little)

Cobb’s Hill is open for business

Eric Kemperman, Brighton High School ’81, is back in town and sledding!

What’s a little snow at the Cobb’s Hill ultimate frisbee game

Adding the first pull up at the new Cobb’s Hill Fitness Court to the Cobb’s Hill series

The Terquasquicentennial of the Day of Wrath and the Great Disappointment atop Cobb’s Hill. Are the ascension robes a myth?

At Cobb’s Hill, a tree, a plaque and fifty years after the death of Shirley Louise Anderson

The RCAC is back at Cobb’s Hill (where Johnny Antonelli struck out 20)

Adding Audrey to the Cobb’s Hill Series

On the trail behind Cobbs Hill Village

Adding the very first shot at the Tony Boler Courts, 9:07 a.m., to the Cobb’s Hill series

Adding a SOTA baseball game and the Air Horn guy to the Cobb’s Hill series

Keeping score at Cobb’s Hill

Will the world end already?

Adding a snow day to the Cobb’s Hill series

Adding Yeshiva football to the Cobb’s Hill series

In search of Talker on Cobb’s Hill for “The Day of Wrath”

The Graffiti Towers of Washington Grove: A Photographic Gallery

Adding a wooded haven to the Cobb’s Hill series with a stroll through Washington Grove

Adding a March blizzard to the Cobb’s Hill series

172 years ago when the Millerites trudged down Cobb’s Hill

42 years and counting for the Kick Ass Kro-Kay Club of Cobb’s Hill

Once more into the breech on the banks of Lake Riley

Flowering Upper Monroe

Ultimate spring fever at Cobb’s Hill

On a mound at Cobb’s Hill And how the City of Rochester handles its loose leaves.

Cobb’s Hill welcomes the Ninth Cobb’s Hill Cyclocross

Diehards and the Cobb’s Hill Tennis Courts

Back to normalcy at Cobb’s Hill basketball

Rochester’s own street ball Rucker League

The 8th Annual Festival of Softball: After 800 Innings the “Tribute to Noah” nears $100,000

That Championship Season thirty five years later

The Cobb’s Hill tragedy of an “invisible man” ten years later

On the 22nd of October, 1844 on top of Cobb’s Hill

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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