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Friends of the Earth: Food Waste 101

Trash can vs Garbage Disposal… which do you think is better for the environment? If you said garbage disposal you are right, sort of. 

There are levels of “green” when it comes to food waste. Not-so-green: Throwing it in a trashcan headed for the landfill. Light green: Running it through the garbage disposal, from which it then heads to the wastewater treatment plant. Green: Toss it in your compost bin for efficient composting. Greenest ever: Reduce the amount of food we waste in the first place! Globally we waste about a third of our food every year. 

While garbage disposals have positives like lowering diesel fuel and emissions from garbage trucks driving around town, there are some negatives as well. There is an increase in water and electricity usage to grind the food scraps down the pipes. Avoid the obvious “no-no’s” like grease, coffee grounds, egg shells, corn husks, potato peels, onion skins, and celery. Make sure to run cold water before and after you send food scraps down the disposal. Every once in a while make sure to send some ice cubes down the garbage disposal to keep the blades sharp. 

What happens if you don’t have a garbage disposal? What if you want to be greener than just using a garbage disposal? Compost or even better… reduce the amount of food you use! Now I’m not saying to “diet”, but if you are like me sometimes it is easy to make more food than your family needs. If you happen to make more spaghetti than your family will eat, toss it in your compost pile! Check our next week’s article for more information on composting! 

Brittany Feltner, Education Coordinator at Henry County Solid Waste District. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@HenryCountyRecycles). #HenryCountyRecycles

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