Why Recycle Food Scraps?
Food scraps are one of the largest components of trash sent to landfills and incinerators. However, food scraps are not trash, they are a resource that can be turned into useful compost. Recycling food scraps into compost captures their nutrients and energy and returns them to the environment.
When food scraps are sent to a landfill or incinerator this resource is lost. In a landfill, food scraps create methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas that traps CO2 and contributes to global warming. When sent to an incinerator (as most waste is in Westchester County), food scraps reduce the efficiency of the incinerator because of their high water content.
Composting food scraps turns that story around. Instead of wasting energy trying to burn food, or creating methane from landfilling it, composting food scraps produces a useful and valuable product that gives back to our nutrient life cycle resulting in cleaner soil, water and air.
What is Compost?
Compost is a soil amendment which enriches our soil. When purchasing a bag of potting soil or observing your landscaper putting down “dirt” you are using compost. Compost benefits our landscape by maximizing plant growth, preventing soil erosion and mitigating the frequency of water, fertilizer and pesticide use. By recycling your food scraps you are reducing waste and creating compost – a double win.
How is Commercial Composting Different From Backyard Composting?
Good compost can be made in a backyard composter or in a commercial composting facility. The difference between the two is that a backyard composter is limited to certain foods (fruits, vegetable, coffee grounds, egg shells) while a commercial composting facility can accept any food. Food such as meat, fish, dairy, bones, shells, pasta, bread, rice, fats and oils can all be composted at a commercial facility. If you already have a backyard composter, it is suggested to keep composting in your backyard and use this service for those foods that can’t go into a backyard composter.