Oak Bluffs is pursuing $2 million in grant funding to start a food composting service at the town’s transfer station.

The select board voted Tuesday to submit a proposal to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday for a composting facility that could process as much as 2,080 tons of food waste a year, cutting down on the amount of scraps that get shipped off Island.

The idea builds on a pilot project from 2016, where a group of nonprofits processed the scraps of restaurants and other Vineyard organizations to feed the insatiable hunger of compost among Island’s landscapers, gardeners and farmers.

“We want a circular economy,” said Emma Green-Beach, the select board member spearheading the project. “We want to reduce our carbon footprint by not sending so much waste off Island. We should be taking the opportunity to support the businesses in our community that are obligated to separate their food waste and do something productive with it.”

Past studies have estimated that about 6,500 tons of food waste is created on Martha’s Vineyard annually. Right now, much of that is loaded onto tractor trailers and shipped to the mainland.

Massachusetts instituted a ban in 2014 that requires food waste to be removed and processed separately from traditional disposal methods for all businesses that produce more than half of a ton a week.

Oak Bluffs wants to erect a building at the transfer station and put in a five- to eight-ton composting drum to expand the island’s current food waste collection. Only one hauler currently collects food waste for composting.

Ms. Green-Beach said the grant process is highly competitive and there is no guarantee that Oak Bluffs would get the money to pay for it.

The board approval included contingencies that the project get fully funded for the first three years, and after that other towns involved would have to share the costs of operating the composter.

Before passing the motion, several board members questioned if it was the right move for Oak Bluffs. Some worried the town would be taking on another expense that would benefit the entire Island, but only Oak Bluffs residents would be burdened with the cost.

Others also worried about becoming dependent on outside haulers to run the program and had concerns about whether the town would be liable if any of the compost produced there has per and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, better known as PFAS.

But after the contingencies, most of the board was comfortable with pursuing the grant. Only chairman Ryan Ruley voted against the project.

“I think it’s a no-brainer,” said board member Gail Barmakian. “I think we have an opportunity here to be at the forefront.”