By Amanda Murphy
I was surprised recently to read that food waste takes up more space in landfills than any other material. Wow, that’s quite a stat, and an issue we can do something about to make positive change.
There is a simple solution to this problem, it’s composting food scraps at home or work, as opposed to putting them in a trash bag. By changing this habit of trapping food scraps/waste inside a plastic bag, you can help reduce the amount of garbage (and plastic) that is sitting in landfills.
Instead, just compost it either directly into a bin in your yard (mixing with yard waste) or by utilizing local services that will pick up this waste and process it into nutrient rich soil or fertilizer. Food scraps like fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds, eggshells, grains, pasta, baked goods, cooked meat can all be composted to create nutrient-rich soil for gardening.
For more information and a full list of items that can be composted, check out these sites from local composting companies: The Compost Exchange > Go Zero >
Food waste decomposes over time, but not when locked inside a plastic bag. When food is trapped among all the plastic and non-organic materials, it prohibits it from distributing important nutrients into the soil. This situation creates and releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is reported to be much more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide!
Composting not only reduces landfill waste, but when processed into soil it also decreases the need for fertilizers, pesticides and extra watering. This soil from compost holds moisture better than regular dirt. As an added benefit, it aids the overall soil health/regeneration due to the micro-organisms living within. And healthy soil = healthy plants and Earth!
Composting food scraps, yard waste, and some lightweight/biodegradable paper products is a regular practice at M.J. Design. We compile all these items together, then every couple of months use a piece of equipment to turn and mix the ingredients into a dark rich soil that is used during our landscape installations. The plants absolutely love it and so do we!