Compost or Landfill?
Compost or Landfill?
We are pleased to present a guest blog post this week all about food waste.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas which is produced from the decomposition of organic landfill waste and it is 28 to 36 times more hazardous than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the environment.
Food waste is organic in nature and it needs adequate sunlight, oxygen and beneficial microorganisms to breakdown naturally but when it is dumped in a landfill and buried beneath heaps of trash and plastics, decomposition becomes a slow and painful process resulting in the production of greenhouse gases that trigger unwanted climatic changes.
There is a fundamental connection between climate change and food waste management because the greenhouse gases emitted in the decomposition are largely absorbed by the soil leading to other environmental hazards like:
· Pollution of groundwater through dissolved carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbons
· Air pollution due to the emission of harmful gases
· Fire hazards
· Unpleasant odor
· Wastage of freshwater that can otherwise be used for irrigation
· Damage to vegetation due to deficiency of oxygen
· Pollution of ground water resources
Why Food Waste Composting is a Better Choice
Composting is an eco-friendly solution to combat climate change because it is a highly effective way to reduce the production of greenhouse gases particularly methane. Industrial food waste composting produces negligible emissions that seriously impact human and environmental health. Composting also has upstream advantages that work to conserve natural resources without needing much effort.
Here are 8 big benefits of food waste composting:
1. Composting improves the health of soil and its workability, resulting in reduced consumption of fuel required for soil tilling.
2. Food waste composting reduces landfill contributions and replenishes farm soils by restoring organic material and trace minerals.
3. Research has revealed that composting efficiently suppresses plant diseases and insects that overrun soil.
4. Composting improves water retention and reduces soil erosion.
5. Food waste composting creates rich soil which can be used as an additive in farms instead of fertilizers that actually disrupt the soil’s organic constitution.
6. Municipalities that are responsible for managing food waste can also save significantly on tax payers’ dollars by turning waste into compost and soil additives.
7. Food waste composting is an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to sending food waste to landfills which will then remain useful for a much longer time.
8. The gases emitted during composting can be captured to generate renewable energy.
Food waste that ends up unfit for consumption can be used as livestock feed and when it cannot be reused at all, food waste recycling is still an option. Organic food items that are accepted for food waste recycling include fruits, vegetables, poultry, seafood, meat, plants, dairy products, juices, eggs, coffee grounds and bakery items. Food waste composting also saves money by diverting waste from landfills because then you are not paying disposal costs. However, the very first approach to managing food waste should be source reduction. While restaurants and retail outlets should identify where food waste occurs and take steps to reduce their food footprint, consumers should try and plan their purchases so they don’t end up wasting food items.
If you are interested in the subject then please come along to our Sustainable Food and Drink event on the 21st of August!
Erich Lawson is very passionate about the environment and is an advocate of effective recycling. He writes on a wide array of topics to inform readers on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly wastage bills and increase recycling revenue.