Wondering what you can do to help your community on Earth Day? When you think about the trash that sits in a landfill, what comes to mind? Broken furniture? Empty chip bags? Huge amounts of plastic? You’ll find those things. But you’ll also find a whole lot of food.
More food ends up in landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The latest data available, from 2015, show nearly 40 million tons of food was thrown away that year.
And food in landfills is far from harmless: Water from spoiled leftovers mixes with chemicals from other trash and creates a chemical “soup” called leachate, which has to be captured and treated separately. Plus, as food breaks down, it creates methane — “And methane is at least 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas,” said Cathy Plume, vice chair of the D.C. chapter of the Sierra Club.
The EPA reports landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States. “So by keeping that food waste out of the landfill, you’re creating a cleaner environment,” Plume said.
Now, that you have the knowledge, how can you move forward to help your community?
CorCompost is a start-up business and Savannah’s newest food waste alternative! You can find their latest addition to the food waste diversion at the Forsyth Farmers Market on Saturday morning (check schedule). They are offering a 3 or 5 gallon bucket and lid with instructions on what to compost for a one-time fee of $10. Once you fill the bucket with your compostable table scraps, you then bring the bucket back to the market and switch out for a clean bucket. They will actually weigh the bucket and keep track of your carbon footprint, so you can visualize the good that you are doing.
The program is designed for smaller footprints to feel good about diverting food waste from the landfill and for those who don’t always have the backyard space. CorCompost is a two person team with full time jobs so they are always thinking ahead from an ecological/economical standpoint and what is needed for the future. The answer is permanent transfer stations set up in every district, so that families can walk to weigh, record and dump their own food waste. As a community we should join together and make this a movement.
Stop by the farmer’s market and talk to CorCompost about how you can begin to be the change in the community. Take advantage of the program which started in February and now has 156 residents participating. Also, if you want to skip the bucket method, Cor offers a consultation service for setting up backyard composting. Check out CorCompost as they are an exciting new company making great strides to ensure Savannah’s future.