Food waste

The average American consumer wastes more than half a pound of food each day. Those uneaten leftovers, vegetable peels, and overripe bananas often end up in landfills – where they emit methane, a potent climate-warming gas.

Castro: “Food waste has been recognized as one of the leading causes for methane release, primarily coming from our landfills.”

That’s Chris Castro, Sustainability Director for the City of Orlando. He says most food waste can be put to good use instead of dumped in the trash. So two years ago, his office launched a program …

Compost

Castro: “… to encourage our residents to divert their food waste by providing a free 80-gallon composter that is not only assembled, but delivered to their door. It comes with a whole slew of different educational resources, as well as videos on our website, to teach them how to properly compost.”

When the correct mix of food scraps and yard waste breaks down in a composter, it creates nutrient-rich material that can be used on lawns and gardens in place of chemical fertilizers, so it feeds the soil instead of global warming.

Castro says so far, the city has given out almost seven thousand composters. And that’s helped residents take a simple but important step to help protect the climate.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.