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Get Excited About Organic Waste Diversion

Got recycling down pat? Learn more about a growing part of the waste stream that can’t go in a recycling bin, but can be diverted from landfills.

Updated on 09/04/18 | Originally Published on 04/14/16

If the
members who
compost fruits and vegetables instead of sending them to the landfill
Complete this quiz to find out what the impact would be.
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In 2014, the total organic waste recycled and composted in the US reduced CO2 emissions comparable to taking 723,000 cars off the road for one year.
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Nice job! Do you already compost your organic waste? Share your experience, and any tips you have for the community, in the comments below.

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These days, recycling is almost universally available, and more and more people are actually recycling! But solutions for organic waste (like food and yard waste) have been slower to catch on. Organic waste shouldn’t go to landfills where it creates GHGs, and that presents opportunities.

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  • Mary Jo E. 8 months ago
    Is using a garbage disposal for food scraps a good thing to do?
  • Mary W. 1 year ago
    Have been composting for YEARS, but am always happy to learn the important facts you share so that I can pass them on to others who need some additional education to take that important next step! THANKS!
  • K A. 1 year ago
    Fascinated that "composting sustains 2x more jobs than landfilling"
    Thank you for inspiring me to do more research on this!
  • Katie K. 1 year ago
    I didnt know alot of that
  • Heather B. 1 year ago
    Hard to want to compost yard waste when your clueless neighbors use lawn pesticides and their toxin-covered grass cuttings, leaves, etc. blow onto your property.
    • K A. 1 year ago
      It's still a step forward for sequestering carbon! If you and/or your family have allergies or health concerns, it may be worth having a sit-down with your neighbors to explain the effect their choices have on your medical bills, now and in the future.
    • Heather B. 1 year ago
      Conversation has worked with some neighbors and not others. Fact is that pesticides are poison for everyone, whether a person has any special health concerns or not. Lawn pesticides for aesthetic lawns are poisoning our air, soil, water, and beneficial insects, not to mention pets who walk on it, then lick their paws or fur (ask any veterinarian), and kids who unknowingly run through it and bring it into their homes on their shoes (as adults also do). A helpful thing in my family’s lives is that we’ve called all the lawn care companies and asked them for courtesy calls the day before they plan on spraying liquid pesticides or spreading dusty granular pesticides, so that we can at least make sure our windows are closed and outdoor toys are picked up. Their customers get this courtesy, but sadly, even if you live right next door, they don’t notify you unless you ask. Good point that composting would still be a positive step, but I wouldn’t want to use any of it on a garden for food since it’s been exposed to unknown pesticides. And, we always wait at least a week and until after a soaking rain to rake any leaves from our yard, to limit our exposure. Many lawn pesticides are now touted as remaining active for many weeks, even months, which equates to them not readily breaking down...means they stay toxic in the soil, on the grass, on grass clippings, on leaves, etc. It’s very sad, the chemical companies are making so much money on the peddled “need” for a perfect lawn trumping people’s health. Pesticides should be the exception, not the rule. So, yes, composting, but awareness.
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