The majority of what we throw away isn’t trash. Sure we occasionally throw something in the trash that probably could have been recycled – a glass bottle, a soup can, etc. (psst… we’ll pickup your glass recycling for about $1 per week) – but over half of what we throw away each week actually could have been composted.
A typical US household will produce about 4,150 pounds of garbage each year. In Johnson County, Kansas, about 56% of household waste is made up of organic waste materials such as paper products and uneaten food. That is a tremendous amount of spoiled leftovers, egg shells and paper towels sitting in the landfill, producing methane for decades, and nearly all of it could instead be converted back into organic soils and used to grow more plant-based products.
As a San Diego waste facility experienced recently, even relatively delicate things we throw away like newspapers and cardboard packaging can stay completely intact for over 40 years when buried in a landfill. In a home compost pile, they’d be converted to healthy, usable soils in 6 to 12 months. In a hot composting process like Food Cycle KC, we can turn it into usable compost in as little as 4 to 6 weeks.
Composting is the process of converting organic waste into nutrient dense soils. As shared in a recent blog, composting significantly reduces greenhouse gas production and increases agricultural yield (stuff grows better).
One of the great things about composting is that it is inexpensive with a service or even free if you do it yourself. Restaurants, coffee shops, and florists can even reduce their monthly waste management bill when they compost with Food Cycle KC.
What could be composted?
Generally anything that was recently living can be composted; however, there are some things you should only compost with a service and not in your back yard.
|At home||With Food Cycle KC|
|All other fruit|
|Meat and fish|
|Cardboard (e.g. pizza boxes)|
We have a comprehensive list of what you can compost in your Food Cycle KC bucket, and of course you can always call or text message us when in doubt. By composting, a household of 4 people could prevent over 3,500 pounds of waste from being added to the landfill each year!
Want to see how it adds up? Put a large resealable container on your counter top, and put every bit of leftover food, paper towels, and spoilage from the refrigerator into it through the week or even just one day. Let us know how it goes – you can make a huge difference!
How can pizza boxes with forever chemicals in them be safely composted?
Good question! PFAs in municipal organics composting is definitely a concern. Most pizza boxes no longer contain PFAs, but unfortunately many paper takeout cartons do, which is why we don’t compost Chipotle containers, for example. Here is some literature on PFA content of pizza boxes https://toxicfreefuture.org/research/pfass-popcorn-bags-pizza-boxes/