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The Hidden Gold in Your Garbage

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garbage compost

Story at-a-glance -

  • Since 2015 food waste has been the largest component of waste sent to U.S. landfills, making up 22 percent of the amount landfilled
  • By composting, you’re not only keeping your share of food waste out of landfills, but you’re also helping to pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and sequester it in the soil
  • David Johnson, a molecular biologist and research scientist at the University of New Mexico, is conducting a range of soil-biology experiments that have shown immense benefits from the application of biologically enhanced compost
  • In one 4.5-year trial, cover crops were grown along with one of Johnson’s compost solutions, leading to a net annual increase of nearly 11 tons of soil carbon per hectare (2.47 acres) of land
  • Virtually everyone can compost their kitchen scraps, keeping waste out of landfills and improving the soil health in their own backyard or community

If you're still tossing your vegetable peels, egg shells, apple cores and lemon rinds in the garbage, you're missing out on this hidden source of "gold." Kitchen scraps like these are ideal for creating compost, a deceptively simple tool for building phenomenal soil health and environmental health all at the same time.

Since 2015 food waste has been the largest component of waste sent to U.S. landfills, making up 22 percent of the amount landfilled, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The amounts of food waste coming to landfills was so great, in fact, that in September 2015 announced a food loss and reduction goal of reducing that waste by 50% by 2030.


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