We have witnessed a growing emphasis on sustainability and waste management in the past couple of decades. We’ve all seen the picture of landfill facilities overwhelmed by the amount of refuse everywhere in the world - and felt compelled to do something about it. 

One area that has gained significant attention is the separation and composting of food waste at home. Alongside individual efforts, many US states have launched organic waste collection programs to encourage proper waste management practices. Greenblue, who developed several interactive maps and charts of composting infrastructure and supportive legislation in the United States, reported that 'in total, at least 27% of the US population has access to some kind of composting program that accepts either food waste only or food waste and some forms of compostable packaging'. That’s not too bad at all - but we can do better. 

The Food Waste Challenge

Food waste is a global concern that has far-reaching consequences for the environment, economy, and society. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, roughly one-third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted annually, amounting to approximately 1.3 billion tons. This is alarming and raises concerns about resource depletion, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and the exacerbation of food insecurity.

Sustainability through Food Waste Separation

By separating food waste from other types of waste, such as plastics and paper, we enable the recovery of valuable nutrients and energy through composting. This process not only reduces landfill waste but also promotes a circular economy by creating nutrient-rich compost that can be used to enrich soil and support plant growth. Furthermore, composting diverts organic waste from landfills, where it would otherwise decompose anaerobically and release harmful methane gas, a major contributor to climate change.

Organic waste separation plays a vital role in fostering a collective effort towards a more sustainable future, whether utilizing government-led collection programs or composting in the backyard. And it all starts in our own kitchen.