Curbside recycling is a food waste solution that’s ripe for growth. We have a massive food waste problem and curbside recycling is a zero waste solution that diverts it from incinerators and landfills. Instead, it’s returned to the earth as compost to enrich the soil with nutrients and organic matter. More households, businesses, supermarkets and institutions need to be informed about food waste recycling and how important it is for a clean, healthy and sustainable Connecticut.
To get the facts straight from an expert, I interviewed Nick Skeadas, founder and owner of Curbside Compost, a provider of food scrap recycling and compost delivery services in Fairfield County, CT, and a Sustainne business member. During our podcast interview, we took a deep dive into food waste to explore the magnitude of the problem and viable solutions to going zero food waste.
Do not underestimate food waste’s strategic importance in helping our state reach its mandated goal of 60 percent diversion of waste from disposal by the year 2024.
Food waste statistics:
- 1/3 or more of all food produced globally is wasted.
- Food as a percentage of CT Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) by weight: 22.3% (Source: DEEP 2015 stats).
- Food represents the single largest component of MSW.
- CT incinerates 2mm tons of solid waste a year (2014 DEEP). 20% or 400,000 tons is food waste. Wait is that really 800 million pounds?
- Incineration releases greenhouse gases (GHG) and toxins that include dioxins into the air, land and water.
CT Law on Commercial Organics Recycling
As of 2011, any business producing 104 tons, or more, of organic materials per year must separate them from the solid waste stream at the source and recycle them at an organic material composting facility if one is located within 20 miles. In 2020 that threshold will drop to 52 tons a year. Learn more by listening to the podcast and visiting the DEEP website.
Introducing the Sustainne Podcast
We have big, urgent problems and Sustainne business members have sustainable solutions. Join us on the Sustainne podcast as we dig into tough sustainability issues and share the best tips and advice about how to solve them at your home or business. Our guest experts are owners of small, innovative businesses in our community. We have big, urgent problems and these businesses have solutions.
We all know that small businesses drive our economy, create jobs and innovate to tackle important issues. They’re also leaders in solving some of our most challenging sustainability problems.
Our podcasts are a great way to get informed, inspired and empowered to take action. You can conveniently listen (and pause to continue when you free up) as you drive, prepare a meal, do chores or get ready for the day. You may even feel optimistic and energized after listening and motivated to share what you learned with your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors.
Today we launch our podcast, starting with a series about waste, in an effort to better understand our growing waste problem and find ways to tackle it.
Episode 1: Food Waste & Curbside Recycling
Guest: Nick Skeadas, founder and owner of Curbside Compost, a provider of food waste pick up and compost delivery services in Fairfield County, CT and a Sustainne business member. Listen now by clicking the big arrow button.
Calls to Action: Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle
We are drowning in our waste and need solutions to reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle our solid waste in order to avoid the environmental impact of “throwing away” our garbage. The hard cold reality is there is no “away.” Municipal waste that is not being recycled is either being incinerated in waste to energy plants, being shipped to another state for processing, or being buried in landfills. Learn more about our growing waste problem in our article “Slaying the Recycling Hydra.”
Reducing, reusing, recycling, and repurposing are obligations of every citizen of CT. We can even begin taking steps to be zero waste, especially with food. The zero waste movement has taken hold across the globe and here in the US consumers and business alike are saying no to single-use plastic straws, cutlery, bottles and bags. Learn more about going single-use plastic waste and our pledge here.
- Avoid wasting food (source reduction)
- Use it or freeze it. Not recommended for high water content foods like zucchini and lettuce.
- Clean out the refrigerator once a week for a leftovers dinner.
- Ignore best by dates.
- Repurpose bread ends to make crumbs.
- Save hard cheese rinds for flavoring soup and stews.
- Buy less!
- What gets measured, gets managed. Make food waste reduction a goal and actually measure it.This is relevant for anyone, especially food businesses.
- Stop throwing food in the garbage. Nobody should be throwing food out because it’s either being burned or buried, neither of which is sustainable or environmentally friendly. Sign up online to have Sustainne member Curbside Compost pick up your food waste curbside and take it to a farm where it’s composted. Businesses, call or email Nick to assess your needs. This is the fastest and most convenient way to go zero waste.
It’s clear we have a massive waste problem and recycling alone isn’t going to get us to our state mandated diversion goal of 60% by 2024. Every person, every home, office, business and school is responsible for being part of the solution to reduce, reuse, recycle and repurpose. At Sustainne, we are proud to have business members like Curbside Compost that are dedicated to solving problems so we can live a sustainable lifestyle.
We can all be part of the solution as long as we’re informed and empowered to take positive steps.
Click on the Home button to explore exciting ways to lead a sustainable lifestyle with the help of small, innovative businesses owned by entrepreneurial members of our community. Or enter a search term in the search box above. Join free to rate and review businesses, save your favorite listings for next time, and receive our newsletter. Or simply register for our regular e-newsletter using the popup below to stay informed and inspired.