Q: I am worried about smells/messes – is there a way to minimize this?
A: At WRR our preference is to keep as much contamination out of the bins as possible and for containers to be recycled separately. However, we have state-of-the-art equipment that can pull out contaminants, such as cans and plastic bags. If you would like to place your food waste in a clear plastic or bio-bag, this can eliminate mess and odors.
Q: Why should I divert waste from the landfill?
A: In 2018, the EPA released a report about food waste in the U.S. They found that the ‘residential sector’ (single/multi-family homes) wasted 25 million tons of food! Sixty six percent (66%) of that food waste was sent to the landfill, only 3% was composted and the rest was incinerated or went to wastewater treatment facilities. Food, and other waste we think of as ‘biodegradable’, does not break down in the landfill as quickly as you would expect – landfills lack oxygen which slows down the decomposition process. As waste slowly degrades it releases methane (a harmful greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere.
In the same study done in 2018, the EPA states that around 24% of landfill space is taken up by food waste. Landfills have a large footprint, cost time and resources to maintain, and can cause permanent damage to the surrounding environment. Anything we can do to save space in the landfill is a huge help!
Wasatch Resource Recovery offers a sustainable destination for food waste. Our site uses the technology of anaerobic digestion to break down food waste and convert it to renewable natural gas and biosolids (nutrient rich fertilizer). Check out our website for a more in-depth look at the process.