A trial program in Laguna Beach has 18 restaurants recycling food waste instead of throwing it in the trash this month, according to the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot.
Employees place food scraps, including scraps left on diners’ plates, into separate containers. The food is then taken to Waste Management’s food waste recycling facility in Orange, where it is converted into renewable energy.
The 30-day program began on Oct. 7. Staff at Zinc, one of the participating restaurants, were supportive of the program.
"We haven't noticed a difference ... except that the [food scraps] are used for something else, whereas they might have gone to waste [in the past]."
Recycling food waste instead of throwing it in the trash is a proven method for reducing GHG emissions. In the landfill, food breaks rot and releases Methane, which is 25 times more powerful than Carbon Dioxide. Transforming food waste into renewable energy and fertilizer is a much sounder alternative and one that is gaining ground. Large cities like San Francisco, Portland and Seattle have proven that mandatory composting can be successful and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is working to add New York to that list.
Even if your community doesn’t yet offer curbside organics recycling, you can still keep your food waste out of the landfill by creating your own compost at home. It makes a great soil amendment for home gardens. Not a gardener? Share it with your neighbor who is—he or she will thank you.