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LANSING, MI — Restaurants in Lansing will soon have an easier way to turn their food scraps into compost, thanks to a pilot program announced Sept. 29 by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.

The Scraps to Soil program, part of the city's Live Green Lansing initiative, will convert food scraps and other organic waste into soil that will be donated to local community gardens, Bernero said.

Blue Owl Coffee, Juice Nation, Sparrow Hospital, Midtown Brewing Company and Lansing Brewing Company have already signed up for the program, which begins Oct. 1.

Officials said they hope to add more businesses.

Through the program, kitchen staff will be instructed on which items can be composted, and Hammond Farms employees will pick up the scraps for transport to a facility in Dimondale, said program director Natalie Molnar.

It takes about 5 cubic yards of waste to create 1 cubic yard of compost, she said.

There will also be an educational aspect to the program, with information on composting made available to customers at participating restaurants.

The one-year pilot program is funded by a $91,000 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality grant to the Delta Institute, which partnered with the city and Hammond Farms.

Officials also announced that the city and the Lansing Board of Water & Light have received a grant from the Michigan Agency for Energy to pay for energy assessments and track energy usage in six city buildings.

"We are moving forward in our efforts to improve environmental health and help Lansing businesses residents and the entire community adopt greener practices," Bernero said. "These environmental issues will not be solved by government alone."

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