Garbage Becomes Gold

Food and other organic waste makes up a significant portion of our country’s solid waste stream. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the nation’s landfills contain up to 66% of paper and paperboard, food discards, yard trimmings and wood—adding – all compostable waste.

In the state of Massachusetts, an innovative, market-driven program for diverting organic waste from landfills was created. This farm-based composting program turns the compostable waste into material suitable for sale to farmers, landscapers, golf courses and recreation sites, and individuals.

Within three years of launching the program, more than 45 commercial waste generators and 70 supermarkets, restaurants, schools, and wholesale food distributors were providing their organic waste which was transported by six regional commercial haulers and delivered to seven farm locations throughout the state. The composted material is then made available for sale.

By composting the wastes instead of allowing it to sit in landfills, in four years the greenhouse gas reductions were approximately 6,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent
—an amount comparable to what over 6,000 acres of five-year-old trees could accomplish in a year.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Organic food and paper waste has value and can easily be diverted from landfills. Consider this idea and see if your business can turn garbage into gold!