Jan 3 - Organics Recycling Gaining Ground Nationwide

Across the country, individuals, businesses, legislators and communities are recognizing the need to increase the recycling of organics as a means of reducing waste to landfills; while they’re at it, they’re creating renewable energy, organic fertilizer and new economic opportunities.

Vermont and Connecticut have both passed legislation requiring large producers of food waste to recycle their food scraps. New York City just passed similar legislation.

According to USA Today, organics recycling is picking up steam in other areas of the country, where composters are asking for more organic material. Minnesota, Ohio and Oregon all have facilities and programs designed to recycle food scraps and/or green waste - reducing the production of methane in landfills. Anaerobic digestion facilities, which speed up the breakdown of organic material and produce renewable energy, are proving to be an exciting new element in the organics recycling sector.

"It holds great promise for multiplying the amount of green waste that we can keep out of the landfills," said Jeff Danzinger, a spokesman with CalRecycle.

Here in California, where the largest anaerobic digester in the country just opened, organics recycling and composting will play a huge role in helping us achieve the 75 percent recycling goal set in AB 341.

Food is the largest component in the waste stream. The EPA estimates that more than 36 million tons of food waste was generated in 2011, all of which could have been recycled, redistributed, or prevented.

Find out more about food waste and the EPA’s Feed Families, Not Landfills program.

Photo Credit: San Jose Mercury News - Zero Waste Energy Anaerobic Digestion facility in San Jose