Why We Need Curbside Composting Programs and Where to Start
Posted by Luke on July 22, 2010
Today on TriplePundit.com, a site dedicated to news on the Triple Bottom Line of business, Dinesh Thirupuvanam wrote a great article on why we need curbside composting programs. He outlined two steps that need to occur which include (1) a uniform labeling standard for compostable products, and (2) improving acceptance of compostable packaging at composting facilities (ensuring each facility doesn’t have their own standards or certification program). I am in complete agreement with Dinesh’s approach. It makes perfect sense. And I appreciate Dinesh referencing my post about the debate over how to label compostable products.
I also think it’s important for municipalities who are considering curbside composting to take the plunge and just do it. The benefits of such programs are immense. In Boulder we have a bi-weekly residential curbside composting pickup and I now send very little trash to the landfill. It feels great taking out the trash because I have so little to take out. Not to mention that composting has an enormous impact on reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions. 34% of all human generated methane emissions are from landfills, and food waste comprises approximately 13% of total landfill mass.
My belief is that we shouldn’t wait for the silver bullet of a labeling standard. It will take years, if not decades, for a common standard to be developed. I’m on the Board of Directors for the Biodegradable Products Institute and I’m involved in this industry debate on several different levels. We’re not going to find a solution overnight. There are just too many stakeholders to have this occur as quickly as we’d all like.
The best way to learn is to just give it a shot. We’ll have more people educated on the subject and more people working on finding the best possible solution.