Dining center converts food waste into compost for its vegetable garden

dining center composts food waste for its vegetable garden
[image credit: Washington Post]

97% of food waste ends up in landfills

It’s a scene reminiscent of a Steinbeck novel: while 1 in 6 American families lives in food-insecure households, the rest of us throw an estimated 40% of all food in the garbage. Not only is this an extremely inefficient use of our food supply, but it also takes up a large portion of our landfills. Our food conservation habits need an overhaul.

Solution: Dining center composts its food waste for a vegetable garden

Many organizations are fighting this imbalance by redistributing surplus food, teaching people to waste less, or at the very least composting food waste to cut back on the monetary and environmental costs of throwing away food. A nonprofit dining center for seniors in northwest Washington, DC started a vegetable garden to provide fresh produce for its meals, and a composting program to return food waste back to the garden.

In addition to cutting waste removal costs every month, the composting program is a valuable educational tool for its patrons, as they participate in collecting and composting extra food for the community garden. The program is catching on – many local residents have been inspired to start gardening and composting at home, and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger is working to spread this idea to the rest of the country.

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Get Involved

  • Do you work in food services? Discuss creating a composting program for your food waste
  • How much food does your household throw away? Consider composting your own food waste
  • Share this idea

Category: EnvironmentHunger

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Article by: Dave

Dave Cannon is a Seattle-based entrepreneur and consultant to nonprofits and small businesses. He loves Thai food and takes terrible photographs. You can follow him on Linkedin.
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