What Impact Could California’s New Composting Policy Have on Waste Reduction?
Developed countries, like the U.S., are establishing national sustainability regulations. Waste reduction measures can minimize surface-level and atmospheric pollution and improve the planet’s health.
A significant quantity of pollution comes from food waste. The agricultural industry uses large amounts of resources and energy to produce food, and when it expires, all those efforts are wasted. Environmentalists in California recognized these sustainability limitations and developed a composting policy.
California’s Composting Policy
California developed an ambitious food recycling goal this year. Government officials plan to minimize landfill waste by nearly 75% using a new composting policy. The law targets waste production from residents, restaurants, grocery stores, universities and corporations.
The composting policy holds individuals accountable for waste sorting. Californians must compost their organic scraps on-site or send them to a local composting facility. Failure to comply with the new regulations results in fines. Some communities provide residents with containers similar to recycling bins to comply with curbside pickup programs.
Waste Reduction Demands in the U.S.
America produces nearly 170 million metric tons of methane from food waste each year. Some waste management professionals incinerate organic matter to free landfill space, but doing so also creates emissions.
America strives to reduce emissions and resource exploitation by decreasing food waste. The country wastes nearly 40% of its food supply. Food production consumes about 50% of all U.S. land and 80% of freshwater.
Optimizing the global food supply is essential to lowering hunger rates. Nearly 820 million individuals lack access to sufficient foods worldwide, and reducing food waste can improve individuals’ access to better nutrition.
The Benefits of Composting
Reducing food waste decreases erosion, and composting repairs depleted soil. Composting organic materials produces a nutrient-dense substance that individuals can mix with soil. It contains potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus, which enhance vegetation development.
Individuals can use nutrient-rich compost materials to plant more trees on their properties. Adding vegetation around homes may reduce cooling costs and emissions. Planting trees also supports natural carbon filtration, minimizing atmospheric degradation.
Composting on-site also reduces transportation emissions. The transportation sector makes up nearly 27% of America’s emission rate, and composting at home shrinks food waste’s carbon footprint.
Preventing Fines with Home Composting
People can reduce their risk of fines by composting at home. They may start their compost pile by combining brown and green materials. The brown components enrich the mix with carbon, and the green materials add nitrogen. They can then create a bin inside to collect organic scraps like vegetables, fruits, tea bags, coffee grounds and more.
Individuals who can’t build a pile outside can bring their compostable materials to nearby gardens or donation centers. Composting food waste significantly improves ecological conditions.
Additional Waste Reduction Techniques
Food technology company Winnow developed a food waste reduction system using the Internet of Things (IoT). It uses cameras, scales and machine learning systems to track waste. It also connects to individuals’ smartphones and tablets, displaying their top wasted items. Residents and restaurant owners can use the data to limit their food orders.
Individuals may also restrict their waste by building vegetable gardens on-site. They can pick the amount of food needed each day to reduce expiration-related waste.
Growing food at home also minimizes transportation emissions. Residents can pickle or can their fruits and vegetables to increase their life spans. Freezing excess food and leftovers may also reduce food waste, improving environmental conservation.
Taking Sustainable Steps Today
Californians can decrease their susceptibility to composting fines by creating a sustainability plan today. Investing in a home compost pile is the most sustainable food-waste-reduction technique. Over time, California may significantly decrease emissions and landfill waste by improving food conservation.
Author bio: Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the editor-in-chief of Environment.co. To read more posts from Jane, sign up for BioFriendly Planet’s newsletter!