A Tale of Two Stadiums
It's hard to process exactly how much waste that is, so let's put it into context. Imagine our hometown stadium that hosts our beloved baseball team. Now take that stadium and fill it up from top to bottom with garbage, that's a lot of trash! However, we're not quite there, now imagine two stadiums side by side. That is the amount of garbage we generate as a nation EVERY DAY!
Granted, that's not all organic waste. So, sticking with the stadium theme, imagine game day and all the people that flood in through the gates. Imagine preparing meals for many of them, there's waste from food prep, half eaten hot dogs, discarded remnants of nachos, etc. Where does that organic waste go? Well in many cases, it might go into a landfill, breaking down anaerobically and producing methane, all liability and zero benefit.
Fortunately, that is not the case for us in St. Louis. We have it on good authority our baseball team and our baseball stadium recycle their organic waste ;) But, imagine the shear amount of organic waste that is created, from one place, for one event, and you get the idea. As a matter of fact, food waste is 15.2% of all generated municipal solid waste (MSW).
TOTAL ANNUAL WASTE (MSW):
Over 260 Million Tons
TOTAL ORGANIC WASTE THAT COULD BE RECYCLED:
Over 40 Million Tons
What We Can Do with the 15.2% OF MSW that is food scraps?
The short answer is we can turn it into compost.
The food we grow requires nutrients. When our plants absorb nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and minerals from the soil, they use it to grow into the food we use to feed the world. In turn, the nutrients in the food we eat help us grow. The waste products (organic waste) from growing and processing food still have some of these vital nutrients stored in them.
To put these nutrients into a landfill would benefit no one. Plus, when they breakdown, they produce methane, a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming and climate change.
So, what is a better outcome? Simple, recycle all of those precious nutrients into something we can use to grow more food, compost!
Total Organics Recycling collects your organic waste and transports it to one the of several compost manufacturing facilities at St. Louis Composting. St. Louis Composting processes food waste, along with other organic materials, like lawn clippings and landscape waste, and provides finished, nutrient-rich compost to commercial growers and homeowners. This approach not only significantly benefits the plants that receive it, but it keeps your organics out of the waste stream. It's a win-win!
BenEfits of COMPOSTING
It’s good for the environment. Food takes a LONG time to break down in a landfill. Why throw food away when it can be used as compost to help grow more food? Also, composting means less waste is sent to a landfill, which extends the life of the landfill.
It’s good for the air. When food scraps are sent to the landfill, they break down anaerobically because there is no oxygen. This process produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide, which is damaging to the ozone layer and contributes to global warming.
It’s good for our bodies. Food grown in compost is healthier and tastes better than food grown with synthetic chemical fertilizers, which can be harmful to the environment.
It’s good for water conservation. Compost helps soil retain water, which helps with erosion control and in times of drought. The more water that is able to be contained in soils reduces the volumes of water in stormwater management systems that need to be treated by municipalities, resulting in lower costs to communities and increased efficiency.
It’s good for reducing resources. When food is thrown into the landfill, it cannot be recovered. In the US, about 40% of food is wasted between farm to table, including those resources that went into producing that food. These resources include water, energy, fertilizers, and pesticides. By reducing the amount of food wasted, these resources are saved.
It’s good for the mind! You can fight climate change, reduce waste, and create a high-quality healthy soil amendment just by composting your food scraps. How good of a feeling is that?