Updated: Aug 21, 2018
By now you’ve probably heard about the growing effort to separate and recycle food waste. Biodegradable food waste accounts for as much as 65% of landfills. The sheer volume of landfill waste is becoming an issue for densely populated regions, with cities looking for ways to reduce the volume of waste and extend the life of landfill properties. It’s expected that areas like New York City will soon require food waste separation, similar to traditional recycling, in an effort to stave off landfill closures.
How and why does food waste take up so much perpetual space?
Imagine eating a banana and tossing the peel into the garbage can, a common occurrence for most. The peel nestles amongst other waste in its plastic garbage bag, which is tied up and sent to the landfill. Here, the bag is tossed onto a pile of other bags, and is quickly covered by more bags. Soon, the peel is buried under thousands of pounds of waste, disconnected from an air supply, unable to break down. The anaerobic darkness virtually embalms the peel; in fact, the lack of oxygen and light allows the peel to remain completely intact. Additionally, the glacial rate of decomposition creates an enormous amount of methane gas, the most impactful greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Because it cannot decompose, the peel --- along with other compostables --- retains its volume, and the landfill keeps growing and emitting gasses until it can’t take any more garbage and closes its doors.
Now imagine tossing the peel into a food waste collection bin instead. The peel, along with other food scraps, is taken to a farm that combines the waste with other compostable materials such as leaves, sticks and farm manure. With regular oxygen and the help of a few hundred thousand red wigglers, your banana peel is transformed from 'garbage' into a light, fluffy, nutrient-dense compost in just a few months. The compost then goes back into the community and to the earth to grow more food. It’s win, win, win!
We’re proud to partner with local RVA establishments, including grocery stores, coffee shops, and kitchens - as well as with residential households that want their food waste to serve a purpose. We provide monthly reports to let you know how much food waste you’ve diverted from the landfill. Credits for compost are awarded based on the weight of waste collected - use the earned compost or donate it.
We look forward to partnering with you, too! Please feel free to reach out with any questions, and let us help you create a food waste collection program that works for your unique needs.