Thursday, May 24, 2012

Let's Talk Compost - Food Recycling Programs

Home composting system

Recently some students from Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, WA requested an interview with me. They had seen my article in 'The News Tribune' titled, "Plant a Garden and Feed the World" and were looking for someone who talked about the environment.

These forward thinking students; Lalaine Ignao, Irene Lopez, and Zareh Foster - Adams are trying to implement a Food Recycling Program at Bryant Montessori School in Tacoma, WA.

If you are not familiar with Food Recycling Programs, here are some interesting facts.

The average family throws out 477 lbs of food each year.

This goes into the landfills.

If everyone composted their food scraps or separated their garbage and used their local Food Recycling Program, this would free up many tons of waste going into our landfills, be put to good use to make compost and help the environment.

I call that a win-win.

Easy to build home composting bin

Not only can we as individuals recycle our food scraps, but schools and businesses can do the same! Most curbside trash collectors encourage Food Waste Recycling Programs. Simply separate your food scraps and put them into the yard waste receptacle to be picked up with your trash.

The average school can save $2000 - $4000 per year in trash collecting fees simply by recycling food scraps! That is taxpayer money! Think of how many schools there are in one district and multiply the savings!

Also, think of the benefits to the environment and the local landfills.

This is a wonderful program to start in your local school.

It's a great program for PTA to sponsor!

And so easy!

Simply set up separate waste cans for food scraps and assign 'helpers' to direct students where to put their food scraps.

Contact the local county Food Waste Recycling Program and they will be happy to help out.

And if you are a school with your own greenhouse or garden, think of the possibilities! You could set up your own composting facilities. This is very educational for students in so many subjects. Science, Environment, Recycling.

Simple home composting receptacle

More than 30% of our garbage comes from food scraps and compostable paper. Food Recycling eliminates that volume from consumer's garbage output.

With a smaller output of garbage, consumers can then move to smaller garbage cans, thus reducing their costs.

In our county, (Pierce), monthly collection service for a standard 90 gallon garbage can = $90 per month. If you recycle Food scraps, you can use a 20 gallon garbage can and reduce monthly costs to $25.25!

Food Recycling Programs are Free! Simply add recyclable food scraps to your yard waste bins.

Recyclable food items include:

  • Spoiled fruits and vegetable trimmings
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Bread, pasta, grains
  • Eggshells and nutshells
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Pizza boxes and uncoated paper plates
  • Cheese, meat, fish, poultry and bones (commercial Food Recycling Programs only)
I think it is wonderful that these progressive students are working hard to implement a Food Recycling Program at Bryant Montessori School, and helping to spread the word for others to try and start their own Food Recycling Program in their local school districts.

A great way to reduce costs, reduce waste and benefit the environment.



  1. Very interesting to me. Here in Scotland we have a compost pile where we put paper, some thin cardboard, vegetable and fruit scraps, and eggshells. We're told to use the city's Food Waste recycling scheme for all cooked food and breads, on the grounds that putting these in your compost pile will attract rats and suchlike. I'm not sure how the city recycles them, but I suppose their compost heaps are so massive that they get very hot and so solve the problem?

    I don't know whether schools here recycle food waste or not, it's a very interesting question.

  2. Hi Christine, it sounds like Scotland is ahead of us with this. We are just now getting things off the ground and trying to spread the word as the landfills are quickly being over run. Now, if we could only outlaw plastic bags, non bio-degradable disposable diapers,and styrofoam food containers.....! Oh, and those plastic six pack rings that strangle the sea life. Well, I could go on..but this is a start!

  3. That sounds like a great program for schools. You have made me curious to find out if any of our local schools have such programs.

    We add some food scraps to our yard debris can each week. I do a little composting but the space I have for it is very small.

  4. Wow! Great information - thanks for sharing it. When I get home, I am going to look into this. <3

  5. Wow! Great information - thanks for sharing it. When I get home, I am going to look into this. <3


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