Is Community Composting an Emerging Economic Opportunity?
Interest in composting continues to surge as municipalities run out of landfill space and people increasingly care about how their food is grown. Four years ago, San Francisco became the first large American city to require composting. Since then, other cities across the country have joined the bandwagon, citing the need to boost waste diversion efforts and mitigate long-term climate change risks. And considering the growing population, the fact that as much as 40 percent of food ends up wasted in the U.S., and the long hauls often required to dispose of trash, there are plenty of reasons to scale up composting. But is industrial composting the solution? After all, the evidence suggests the composting process has its own climate change impact: All that waste often travels long distances, and consumers may still carry on with wasteful habits if they know unused food will soon be out of sight and out of mind. More community-based composting, however, could help municipalities cope with the pesky problem of food scraps and yard clippings. TriplePundit spoke with two community composting organizations: One is based on the West Coast and relatively new; another is located in New England and has been operating since 2002. Read the full article, part of a series on community composting. Image credit: Michael Martinez and LA Compost