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What Can I Do to Help with Landfill Diversion of Food Waste?

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

At SMR Worldwide, we may work in the ITAD and electronic recycling industry, but sustainability and recycling is our lifestyle, both at home and at work.


DID YOU KNOW that according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) food waste in the US was at 35 million tons in 2012? (source: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/11/17/364172105/to-end-food-waste-change-needs-to-begin-at-home)


Landfill diversion is a process of diverting waste away from landfills to appropriate locations or proper recycling. In the US, a lot of people may take for granted the affordability and accessibility of food. Often, large meals are made, and leftovers are placed in the fridge, never to be consumed in their entirety. I for one can’t go grocery shopping when I’m hungry because I put a lot of things I probably shouldn’t into my cart and things that I don’t completely consume that gets thrown into my compost pile.


I personally have done my own studies at home for my family of four. Typically, I will fill a large coffee can of food every couple days of scrap food. Having two toddlers doesn’t help especially when they’re insanely picky about what they eat. Nonetheless, that’s a lot of waste in my household but the food doesn’t go to waste per say. I have a compost pile in my backyard that gets all the excess food, I use this compost for our flower and vegetable gardens every year and if I have any leftover, it’s given to neighbors for the same purpose. One of my neighbors utilizes a 55-gallon plastic barrel for their compost whereas I dug a 5-foot by 5-foot hole in the ground, either way works fine and produces the same results.


Some ways to assist with this problem, are to grocery shop more often by meal prepping once per week. Essentially plan out your meals for that week and shop just for those meals and purchase the ingredients you will use and consume. Instead of cooking an entire pound of pasta for a family of 4, cook a ½ pound that will be consumed for that meal. This will ensure that all the food is eaten at that time and you aren’t placing a ½ pound of leftovers in the fridge or freezer. If you do place the ½ pound of pasta into the fridge, section the pasta into smaller containers that pack easily into a lunch bag/box for lunch while at work.


Instead of purchasing your fruits and veggies from the local supermarket, you can purchase from Hungry Harvest right here in North Carolina. Hungry Harvest purchases items that are not "picture perfect" and resells them directly to the consumer like you and I. The best part, it’s delivered directly to your doorstep.


You can also get creative with leftovers, for example, the rind from oranges, lemons, and lime can be shaved off and used to flavor items like fish or chicken. These same rinds also make for delicious teas, mixing orange rinds, local honey, and cinnamon create a tasty tea and a healthy choice for those with allergies.


The next time you pull up Netflix or Hulu, do a quick search for Anthony Bourdain’s documentary film called “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste”.


Below is a link to 50 recycling and trash statistics not related to food. https://www.rubiconglobal.com/blog-statistics-trash-recycling/

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