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The Impact Of Organic Waste

Recyclebank presents THE IMPACT OF ORGANIC WASTE When thinking about the trash you generate everyday, it's easy to forget how much of it is organic – biodegradable materials that come from living things, like food and yard waste. Diverting organic matter from the landfill is an important step towards a greener, more sustainable world. ORGANIC WASTE IN MSW Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) is the household, office, and retail waste generated by Americans. THERE ARE MILLION 5 1 TONS of annual MSW Organic materials are the largest component of MSW. Some of this material – like newspapers and cardboard – is being recovered for recycling and therefore unavailable for organic waste recovery by composting. 67% Percentage of the national waste stream that is organic in nature. We can sustainably manage organic materials by reducing food waste, reusing certain materials, and recycling nutrients through organic composting and other means. Percentage of MILLION U.S. waste %3D 75 TONS are compostable 36% stream that is available for composting. 75 MILLION TONS of COMPOSTABLE ORGANIC MATERIAL 25 28 YARD TRIMMINGS million million SOILED/ UNRECYCLABLE PAPER tons tons 22 FOOD SCRAPS million tons While some organic materials are recycled and composted, huge quantities still end up in landfills, which has a major environmental and financial impact. FOCUS ON FOOD WASTE Food waste is a major source of organic waste. 3 6. 14.5% 30% MILLION TONS of all food is thrown away of food waste in the U.S. Percentage of food waste in total U.S. MSW. each year In the U.S. every year. Food that ends up in the trash is equivalent to: 20 LBS. 240 LBS. 960 of food per person quarter-pounders thrown away per person every month. per year. Agriculture is the largest human use of water. About half of the water used to produce this food goes to waste 50% when we trash food. Enormous amounts of resources are dedicated to growing, processing, manufacturing, transporting, and disposing of food. Approximately 13% OF U.S. GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS are associated with food production and disposal. Buying only what we'll eat and reducing the amount of food we throw away can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and use our resources more sustainably. THE DECOMPOSITION PROCESS: LANDFILLS VS COMPOSTING LANDFILLS When organic waste ends up in landfills, it gets buried beneath layers of trash, which cuts off the oxygen supply. When organic matter biodegrades anaerobically-without oxygen-it emits methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Methane CO2 as a GHG H 23x C С н H more potent H Landfills are the third-largest source of methane emissions. When methane is not captured at landfills, it contributes to global warming. When methane is captured-at some landfills or specific anaerobic digester facilities-it can be converted into a renewable energy source, a powerful alternative to fossil fuels. VS COMPOSTING When organic waste ends up being composted, it receives a steady supply of oxygen. Oxygen encourages the growth of bacteria and microorganisms that biodegrade the materials. In composting, the organic waste biodegrades and becomes a nutrient-rich soil. These nutrients serve as an important building block for plant life. This nutrient rich soil helps reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides in anything from gardening to industrial farming. By reducing methane emissions and unlocking nutrients that support organic farming, composting is a powerful way to divert organic waste from landfills. FINANCIAL IMPACT 2$ 48.3 %24 BILLION DOLLARS 24 The 30% of U.S. food that goes to waste is worth $48.3 billion. Reducing Food Waste Would: • Save money and resources on • Reduce the use of resources food production and disposal, associated with food growth, such as landfill tipping fees. manufacturing, and disposal. • Improve sanitation throughout municipalities on garbage day. • Improve sanitation at Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFS). Food Waste Job Creation: For every 10,000 tons of solid waste: VS 1 job is created 10 recycling industry jobs 75 materials or reuse jobs if waste goes to landfill if waste is kept out of landfills HOW CAN YOU HELP? Be conscious about how much Start a compost pile at home or use a commercial composting facility food you are buying. Planning near you. has a free directory. meals and saving leftovers will help reduce food waste. Check with your municipality or waste hauler about yard trimming Use grasscycling: When mowing, leave the grass clippings on the lawn. This will reduce yard waste and recycle drop-off locations. the nutrients back into the soil. Use cloth napkins and towels Donate extra food to soup kitchens or food banks. for clean-up to save on paper waste. If we all take small steps to reduce our everyday organic waste, together we can take a big step towards a greener future! Recyclebank Recyclebank inspires and rewards smarter, everyday choices for a more sustainable future. We know that it takes a group effort to make a positive impact, which is why we bring together communities, businesses, and people like you. Learn more about organic waste and recycling at Sources Environmental Protection Agency World Food Day USA BioCycle's Find a Composter United Nations Environment Programme

The Impact Of Organic Waste

shared by katiebozich on Apr 06
It's not something many of us think about, but a lot of the trash we generate on a daily basis is actually biodegradable. Diverting this waste from landfill to be composted instead can have significan...




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