A recent article published in The New York Times, "Recycling the Leftovers" by Stephanie Strom, casts a favorable future for environmentalists conerned about sustainable waste management.
While recycling rates are increasing, "What has been missing from recycling is the organic part of the waste stream, which is significant" says Bob Gedert, director of resource recovery for the city of Austin, Texas (and former head of California's Resource Recovery Association). Austin has joined several west coast cities in leading the way for all inclusive, city-based organic waste programs as the city aims to eliminate 90 percent of its landfill waste by 2040.
With the stark realization that $165 billion worth of food is wasted annually in the U.S. and that human population is increasing, many are joining Austin in this hot-button issue. The food service industry, businesses, colleges, and households are realizing that food waste is a "multifaceted issue that has an impact on family food budgets...hunger in America, and... our natural resources and climate change," as said by Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture.
The ways to reduce food waste are vast, creative, and expanding. From new "no waste" methods of preparation in restaurants and donations to food banks, to economic business ventures and inovative recycling/composting opportunities. If this trend in organic waste awareness continues, it appears to be a "win-win" for everyone involved.
CAW is doing its part for the movement by sponsoring AB 1826, a bill which seeks to increase organic waste recycling by requiring commercial generators to subscribe to composting or anaerobic digestion services. Read more about AB 1826 here.