Food waste – compost or garbage disposer

Food waste creates a lot of problems for municipalities. A lot of food is thrown away each and every day. Food waste that ends up in landfills creates a number of environmental problems. This may sound odd, a lot of food waste is after all organic. So what is the problem? Not only does food waste often attract rodents and flies but it can also start to stink when it rots. But the main problem is that food waste that is decomposing creates methane, a green-house gas.

One solution on the problem created by food waste is the garbage disposer, also called garbage disposal. Food waste is shredded into small pieces and is transported via the sewer systems to the wastewater treatment plant. This solution is hotly debated every now and then. Garbage disposers solve one problem but they also create new problems. It is worth noting that very few operators of wastewater treatment plants like garbage disposers. On the contrary, most owners want them banned.

In many ways, composting is the best solution for getting rid of food waste. The average household in the US throws away more than 400 pounds of food waste each year. Of course, commercial entities, such as supermarkets and restaurants, throw away a lot of food waste as well. But if households started to compost most of their food waste, the amount of food waste in landfills and wastewater treatment plants would be much smaller.

Note that some municipalities have restrictions on home composting of food waste. Often they are worried that the food waste in composts will attract rats and other vermin. Before starting to compost food waste at home, check the local rules first.

If you are thinking of composting your food waste, you need to know what food waste should not be put into your compost bin. Fruit and vegetables are safe to compost. The same goes for anything made of flour, for example bread, cookies, crackers and noodles. Other things include grains and rice. You can also put egg shells, corn cobs and husks in your compost but beware that they take a long time to break down.

Food waste that you should never compost includes meat, fish and dairy products. Also grease, fat and oil are no-nos. Obviously, meat will attract maggots and vermin. But the mentioned food waste will also damage the nutrient-rich structure of the compost. Most of the food waste also takes a long time to break down.

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