Since 2015, San Francisco‘s innovative composting program has required everyone in the city to separate out their compostable trash: fruits, vegetables, yard waste like tree branches, leaves, and grass clippings, cardboard, and other compostable materials.
Then, employee-owned Recology collects everyone’s trash and compost-ready waste, transforming it into nutrient-rich compost that can be used to grow food, help save water, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
This Insider video goes behind the scene at Recology to learn how San Francisco composts and recycles more trash than it sends to landfill.
Seattle and the state of Vermont make it easy to compost, too. Why should every city compost its food waste? From the video:
“…composting doesn’t only save landfill space. It’s also a climate solution. In a landfill, food breaks down in a tightly packed environment without oxygen. That kind of rotting produces methane, a harmful greenhouse gas 80 times worse than carbon dioxide. Composting keeps that from happening.”
“And when it’s spread on farms, compost helps store CO2 in the soil. ‘So when you compost your food scraps in San Francisco, you’re actually helping turn a vineyard into a carbon sink.’
“And there’s more. ‘Compost is a natural sponge that attracts and retains water.’ California growers are willing to try anything to save water after more than 20 years of extreme droughts.”
From across the bay in 2016, watch How Oakland Turns Food Scraps to Soil.
Then watch these videos about compost and food waste:
• The Surprising Places We Waste Energy
• Can rotting vegetables make electricity?
• The Compost Thrower
• The Compost Cycle: Turning waste to nutrient-rich soil
• Why is soil one of the most amazing things on Earth?
• The Secret History of Dirt, a smart soil explainer for all ages
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