Uneaten food from Santa Fe restaurants would turn into valuable compost under a pilot project launched by a Glorieta nonprofit. Three years ago, Reunity Resources established a program to collect used cooking oil from area restaurants and convert it to biodiesel for redistribution. Now, with 50 participating restaurants, it wants to expand the operation to include food-scrap collection.
City Council gave the nonprofit permission to launch its collection plan and will provide collection carts. Reunity, an organization run by Tejinder and Juliana Ciano, will provide trucks and manpower, however, and is looking for a shot in the arm in the form of $143,000 from local philanthropists with a campaign at indiegogo.com (type "moving mountains" in the search box). Tejinder says the couple is also seeking business sponsors to get the pilot cooking in March. Once operational, the program should be self-sustaining, he says, adding that estimates indicate the local government spends about $700,000 per year collecting and storing waste that could be transformed into soil amendments to