Composting food waste is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to enrich soil, enhance food and reduce impacts to the local landfill, and there’s no better time to start than International Compost Awareness Week.
International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW), which this year takes place May 7-13, is the largest and most comprehensive education initiative of the compost industry, with the goal of raising public awareness of the benefits of composting food and yard waste.
“When uneaten food scraps go into the landfill, the time, labor, water, land and nutrients used in getting food through every step in the food chain – from growing, to processing, transporting and consuming – is wasted,” said Joe Lombardi, SWACO’s Executive Director. “Not only that, but food waste in central Ohio accounts for the single-largest source of landfill material, by weight, and is the equivalent to residents and businesses throwing away nearly 1 million pounds of food each day.”
Fortunately, composting is an effective and low-cost way to create healthy soil for plants and reduce reliance on landfills, while also significantly reducing methane emissions food waste can release when discarded as garbage.
SWACO’s nationally recognized Save More Than Food campaign offers these easy and convenient ways to start composting:
Anyone looking for more information on composting and how to get started can check out SWACO’s At Home Composting Guide and Video, found here and here.
“Many people ask what exactly they can compost in their backyard bin-- food scraps, coffee grounds, shredded paper and yard trimmings, such as grass clippings and leaves can all go in a backyard system,” said Jane Boehm, Food Waste Program Administrator for SWACO. “Avoid composting diseased plants, weeds, seeds, meat, fish, grease or dairy, cat or dog waste, or compostable packaging as these items require a commercial setting to break down properly.”
Additionally, SWACO is partnering with Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District during International Compost Awareness Week, to make a limited number of discounted compost bins available to Franklin County residents. While supplies last, those who participate in an online course or an in-person workshop can obtain a bin for $30, plus tax -- a savings of $70. Register for the courses at: communitybackyards.org/participate.
More composting at home tips including what you can and can’t compost are available at: savemorethanfood.org.