Think COOL2012 (Let’s Stop Filling Landfills with Recyclable Organics)

In a recent post on sustainablog.org, Robin Shreeves commented on her town’s municipal composting program.

This past spring, my family and I were able to get all the compost we needed for our vegetable garden from a local community’s compost pile at their department of public works. The compost was created from all of the leaves and yard clippings that had been collected curbside. Many communities collect leaves, clippings and other outside organic matter to turn into compost, but some communities are taking it a step further.

Food that is mixed in with regular trash is estimated to make up about 40% of the trash in landfills. It also is the biggest offender in creating landfill methane which is a powerful greenhouse gas – 72 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Reducing landfill methane is just one of the benefits of keeping this type of waste out of landfills.

Curbside composting’s many benefits include:

  • saving money by reducing trash to landfill service and thereby lowering garbage bills;
  • conserving valuable organic resources by returning organic matter and nutrients to the soil;
  • reducing climate warming gases from landfills and reducing the risk of potential groundwater pollution
  • extending the life of our landfill by saving space

We think these are excellent and astute observations, especially since it demonstrates the fundamental need for keeping organic materials OUT of landfills!

When advocating “green” in your local town, think about the 40% of recyclable (compostable) trash. Not only can you help prevent global warming (by reducing the potential of methane production in landfills), but you can help your town reduce solid waste disposal fees by diverting a significant percentage of the total waste stream from the landfill. For more information about the benefits of diverting compostable materials from landfills, visit COOL2012 website.

To paraphrase Margaret Mead once remarked, a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change a short-sighted municipal solid waste plan!