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Food Cycle Program

smiling women exchange a bucket in a garden

Solana Center is proud to bring the Food Cycle Program to our community. We are able to accept community members’ food scraps and process these organic materials on-site to create a high-quality soil supplement.

How it Works:

  1. Sign up to join the Food Cycle Program by paying the $50 registration fee for residential customers and $75 registration fee for business customers.

  2. Come in to the Solana Center to pick up your food collection 5-gallon bucket and bokashi bran

  3. Collect all food waste at home or in the office into the 5-gallon bucket. Sprinkle ¼ cup bokashi bran on top of every 2-3 inches of food waste and keep the lid sealed to reduce odors. Repeat until the bucket is full.

  4. Once the bucket is full, bring it back to Solana Center for processing and collect a new clean bucket. Compost processings fees are $5/bucket.

Bokashi Method

The Bokashi method is used for composting all organic food waste, including meat, dairy and fats. It was developed in Japan and used in Asia to ferment food prior to composting. The process uses lactobacillus bacteria to predigest waste matter, which eliminates odors and decreases composting time. The process is similar to making yogurt, cheese, and sauerkraut. Bokashi is a great pre-composting method for diverting all food scraps from going to the landfill. The Bokashi Method works best when it is let to steep without air contact, so remember to screw on the lids when not adding to the bin!

Bokashi bran is a complex blend of bacteria and yeast which, when applied to kitchen waste and kept in an anaerobic environment, will outcompete all the other microbes (like mold) that would grow on the decomposing scraps. Bokashi bran is made by inoculating grains, hulls or grass-like substances (i.e., spent beer grains, bran, or wheat) with effective microorganisms.

Download the Bokashi Best Practices Fact Sheet.

Compared to traditional composting, Bokashi:

  • Produces an end product that is richer in organic matter and nutrients

  • Allows you to compost any organic material easily

  • Does not generate any greenhouse gases

  • Does not require any turning

  • Captures all nutrients/by-products in a sealed container

  • Minimizes worry about insects or rodents

  • Can be done on a small scale, e.g. in an apartment

  • Enables you to keep food scrap in the airtight container until you are ready to drop it off to us

What Do I Need?

For the Bokashi process, you need:

  • FOOD WASTE OF ANY KIND - this includes all meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, and bones.

  • BOKASHI BRAN - available at Solana Center.

  • NO AIR! - Bokashi microorganisms live in conditions with little to no oxygen. A sealed container is required.