Composting 1 ton of food waste reduces green house gas emission by about 2 tons.
What is Composting?
Composting is recycling, turning organic food and yard wastes into a soil-like material for use as an amendment in agriculture, golf courses, parks, residences, and many other applications.
More than 251 million tons of solid waste is generated annually in the United States, with organics comprising approximately 25%. Here in Georgia, about 800,000 tons of organic waste is food waste, which is also the primary composting material generated by Zero Waste Zone participates. Approximately 48% of the state’s food waste originates in Atlanta area, with the majority coming from restaurants, schools, grocery stores, hotels, manufacturing and hospitals. That’s a lot of waste that could be composted and turned into a valuable commodity that also helps reduce greenhouse gases.
Benefits of Composting:
- Turns a waste product into a valuable commodity
- Improved handling of food waste
- Economic benefits – job creation, saleable product and reduced tipping fees
- Excellent soil conditioner
- Pathogen suppression
- Reduction of chemical controls for agriculture improves the environment
- Greenhouse gas emissions are significantly decreased
- Problematic waste is turned into a valuable commodity
- Soil conditions are improved with compost
- Pathogens are destroyed
- Soil erosion is reduced
- Many landfill gas collection systems do not capture the methane from food waste decay, generating additional greenhouse gases
Tips to Get You Started
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is reviewing the current composting rules and regulations for future streamlining of the permitting process. In the meantime, the following companies supply food residual and organic matter hauling services to Greenco Environmental, the only permitted composting facility accepting food residuals in Georgia:
• Closed Loop Organics, Frank Buckman, 678-409-9456, [email protected]
• Greenco Environmental, Melia Lesko, 770-330-2130, [email protected]
Website Links for Education and Solutions
U.S. Composting Council
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 4
Georgia Department of Natural Resources