Composting at the Troy Waterfront Farmer's Market

Looking for a location in Troy to drop off your food scraps and other household compostables? Troy Zero Waste, a local community group driven to redefine the waste stream, hosts one of our 64-gallon carts at their table at the Troy Waterfront Farmer's Market! There is no fee to drop your food waste, but donations are encouraged. Partnering with local vendors every Saturday from 9am-2pm, the market has now moved indoors for the winter to the Uncle Sam Atrium, which is located at Fulton Street at 3rd and 4th Streets. If you'd like more information about the Troy Zero Waste group and their efforts to transform waste in Troy and the Capital District, follow the link embedded within the header. See you at the market, and happy composting!

With Help from Empire Zero, Massachusetts Food Waste Ban in Full Swing!

As the state-wide food waste ban makes headlines in Massachusetts, Empire Zero's composting efforts in the Berkshires are being recognized. In an October 5th, 2014 article (and accompanying photo gallery), the Berkshire Eagle highlighted the commercial food waste recycling that continues to gain popularity throughout Western Massachusetts and the Capital Region of New York State. We are so very honored to play such a crucial role in the state's ambitious waste reduction goals, and look forward to the challenges and exciting opportunities ahead. Achieving zero waste is possible - let us show you how!

Expansion at UAlbany

Albany, N.Y. -- It was two years ago when Dylan Card, now president of UAlbany Students for Sustainability, thought, “it’s about time we responsibly get rid of the food waste from the dining halls on campus.”


In January 2013 Dylan got his wish: The University at Albany began a pilot program with Empire Zero, to divert their food waste from the landfill.  The pilot began with just one of the campus’ residential dining halls, Indian Quad. Indian Quad has diverted more than 119 tons of food from the waste stream, composting over 14,000 pounds of food since the program's inception.  Following this success, University Auxiliary Services (UAS) embarked on an expansion of the program.  Starting last month the dining hall at State Quad began composting.


Organizing a composting operation at an institution as large as UAlbany involved a joint effort between staff, students, and faculty.  A key to the success of the program was the training provided by Empire Zero. As a new firm based in the Capital Region, Empire Zero is able to work with all of its composting partners to tailor a unique composting plan that works for each individual institution. 


UAlbany has experimented with vermicomposting, including hosting an office composting challenge organized by the Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES) during the nationwide RecycleMania tournament. In this program, offices are given small buckets to collect organic scraps, and a volunteer empties the containers into the vermicomposting bins.


Composting isn't the only measure UAlbany is taking to reduce their organic waste output.  Sodexo, the University’s food service provider, began using LeanPath, a software technology used to track food waste generated by kitchens in residential dining halls in February 2014.  The program challenges the staff to weigh all waste -- from overproduction, spoilage and trimmings -- each day in order to measure and observe trends in the types of waste being produced. Daily participation and an assessment of weekly results will enable the dining team to implement less wasteful culinary practices and run a more environmentally and financially sustainable food operation.


Empire Zero began its mission to “redefine waste” back in 2012.   Phil and Tyler Holloway founded the company when they noticed the need for an organic waste recycling service in the Capital Region.  Since then, Empire Zero has developed both institutional and resident composting programs, partnering with hospitals, universities, and restaurants to divert more than 500 tons of compostable materials from landfills.  The compost service accepts all food scraps; including meat, dairy, bones, soiled paper products, and greasy cardboard.  

Glen Sanders Mansion

Known for its beautiful weddings, corporate, nonprofit and other events, the Inn at Glen Sanders Mansion is applying their impeccable taste to their waste.  The Mansion has started composting with Empire Zero. When your businesses' grounds are as beautiful as Glen Sanders, it makes sense to do everything in your power to keep it that way.  Keeping the environment clean and enriching the soil with compost is just one of the many benefits of recycling food waste.  Needless to say, we are stoked to add Glen Sanders to the Empire Zero family.

Healthy Living, Composting, and Spas

What do healthy living and luxurious spa vacations have in common with composting? Everything! Canyon Ranch has made the move to start composting their food waste with Empire Zero.  The Ranch has always been dedicated to maintaining a healthy, clean environment as a part of their holistic approach to wellness.  Needless to say, Empire Zero is delighted to be a part of Canyon Ranch's mission to create sustainable and stable relationships with ourselves and the world around us.


Their name may be a mouthful, but we can assure you that is not where the uniqueness stops with this coffee shop. Coffeetime@Hellasbakery has recently become one of Empire Zero's newest composting partners from their location in Albany, NY (5 Clinton Sq., across from the Palace Theatre).  Coffeetime has locations around the world including their headquarters in Vietnam, as well as in the Philippines and Schenectady, with plans to expand to Ho Chi Min City, Burbank, CA; and the city of love, no not Las Vegas-- Paris, France.  America might run on Dunkin' but it looks Hella's has their sights set on a much larger demographic....

Oh, and have you heard of Bitcoin? The currency of the future? They accept that there, too.

Hudson, NY Gains a Composter

A familiar face is in the composting business again.  Baba Louie's location in Hudson, NY has joined the composting revolution.  This recent development closes the loop for this restaurant, as now all three of their locations ( two in Pittsfield, MA and Great Barrington, MA) can claim clean food waste recycling with Empire Zero.  We're extremely happy to be a part of Baba Louie's composting culture.

Be sure to get over there and indulge in some great waste-free food! 

517 Warren St
Hudson, NY


Baba Louie's: Quality Ingredients, Honorable Business Practices

Baba Louie's restaurants in Pittsfield and Great Barrington, Massachusetts have joined the composting culture that is sweeping the commonwealth.  Empire Zero is proud to announce Baba Louie's as our newest composting partners.  We can always support a company who believes in good tasting food, quality ingredients, and responsible food waste recycling.  Welcome aboard, Baba Louie's! 


If you're in the area, check them out, and grab a bite:

34 Depot St
Pittsfield, MA

286 Main St
Great Barrington, MA

Berkshire Community College on the Books

Berkshire Community College began composting with Empire Zero this month.  The school is a trail blazer in their community for sustainability and has dreams of being a zero waste facility.  We are excited to add another location in the Berkshires to our list of composting partners.  We look forward to working with BCC and other establishments to help them reach their goal of zero waste.

Emma Willard Starts Composting

We are excited to announce that the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY has joined the composting crusade.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are now being composted from the dining hall. The all-girl's school is very dedicated to sustainability and claims the title of being the first Fair Trade School in the country.  Great things are in store for Emma Willard, and we are delighted to have them on board!

New Residential Program!


Starting today you can now sign up for our Residential program in the following towns: Guilderland, Bethlehem, Schodack, and East Greenbush. If you live in these towns and would like to sign up for our food waste pick up program please follow the link below. 
We are also offering some variety in our pick ups now. You can now sign up for one bucket weekly, two buckets twice a month or one bucket twice a month depending on the size of your home. 
As always with our programs you will automatically be signed up for our monthly compost exchange program as well. 

Sign up today to try just one month or perhaps a whole year or even pay as you go and put it on hold whenever you like.

We will be adding new Towns to the list in the coming weeks as it grows! Remember there is a referral program as well! Send us an email to learn more. 

Come join Empire Zero in diverting as much food waste from the landfill as possible and in the process helping enrich our soils.



New things are coming!

Next week Empire Zero will be launching a new part of our website for the Residential Program. It will allow households to sign up and pay right on the website and have a personal account. This is all done through software developed by Farmigo. Although designed for CSA's due to the similarities between our residential program and a CSA household delivery program we are going for it. 

What this means is that starting at the end of next week you can sign up for a variety of new pick up options (shares) such as 1 bucket weekly or 2 buckets every two weeks and pre-pay or pay as you go. 

As the fall goes on we will be adding more and more options and a few new things as well. 

Check back here for more updates next week and beyond!