It Makes a Difference
Diverting compostables from landfills and incinerators is massively important. Keeping these materials out of landfills has a significant impact on the environment, but in addition composting has the power to reduce the resources used for processing, amend eroding farmland with nutrient rich soil, increase food security through better efficiency within the food system, and promote engagement in our communities.
The average American family contributes more than 500 pounds of compostable food scraps to landfills each year. In fact, food makes up the largest of all categories of material contributed to landfills today. Not only that, but food scraps in trash bags do not have access to the oxygen required to decompose properly and as a result produce methane which has been found to be up to 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide. These trends only appear to be increasing as estimates of food waste in the U.S. households have doubled from 17.5 million tons per year in 1990 to 35 million tons per year today. We can impact this problem today and turn these trends around!
Food production in the United States is extremely wasteful - about 40% (35 million tons) of the food we produce as a country is never eaten. Sadly, producing food is also heavily resource intensive. In fact, about 10% of all energy, 50% of land, and about 80% of our freshwater usage is the result of food production activities.
The current model is unsustainable, and the demand on production is consistently rising, but research has shown that just a relatively small amount of waste reduction can significantly impact resource usage. We must respect food and the investments we make to produce it.
Research by Feeding America found that more than 14% of Sedgwick County residents are food insecure, which means that they do not have consistent access to food. Food insecurity is much more prevalent among minority groups, low-income populations, and the most vulnerable among us including children and elderly individuals. Feeding America estimates that an investment of about $37 million would be needed to adequately address food insecurity in Sedgwick County, but we can make an impact now by eliminating inefficiencies!
By signing up for our service, we believe that residents of Sedgwick County will become more aware of waste, respect food, and engage with their communities not only to decrease their waste contributions but also to build strong connections to solve problems.