Why you should recycle/compost your food waste | Modern Mummy

Monday, 8 July 2013

Why you should recycle/compost your food waste

It's been a while since I've written an environmental post but, after spending a large chunk of the weekend discussing food waste (amongst other things, I hasten to add!) I really wanted to talk about the importance of disposing of your food waste responsibly. (You can read my guide to reducing food waste here).

Did you know that in the UK we actually throw away more food from our homes every year, than packaging? Organic matter makes up 38% of the United Kingdom's household waste which is a pretty big percentage - and recycling or composting your food waste is equally as important as recycling other household rubbish.

Of course, the most obvious reason to separate food waste from your other household rubbish is to prevent it from going to landfill. Landfill is defined as 'the disposal of refuse and other waste material by burying it and covering it over with soil'. Hiding it and pretending it isn't there, basically. Totally disgusting. Aside from the appalling fact that space is running out in landfill, it is completely and utterly ridiculous that our organic, and entirely compostable waste is being buried inside plastic bags that do not biodegrade.

Which brings me onto this point nicely. When organic waste begins to biodegrade inside plastic bags it produces methane and leachate in vast quantities, both of which are directly responsible for global warming and water pollution. The plastic prevents the organic waste from biodegrading properly and, being buried underground, it can cause volatile pockets of methane that can continue to be produced for years - even after the site has closed. Scary stuff.

Another reason to recycle your food waste is that it will also help to stop animals tearing open your bin liners when you leave them outside. Don't you just hate it when foxes and cats raid your bin bags and leave its contents strewn all across your front garden? NEWSFLASH! They are after your leftovers! Reduce food waste, and recycle any you do have rather than throwing it out with the trash and never again will you be late for work after spending half an hour picking up chicken carcasses and yoghurt pots from your driveway.

I do appreciate that composting isn't for everyone; lots of people don't have the outside space or time to get a composter up and running plus, of course, they can attract pests. But nearly every local council now operates food waste recycling facilities so if you aren't keen, or able, to compost your own, why not make use of this brilliant public service? 

Most councils provide you with two caddies (one for internal use and one (larger one) for external use) and then collect any food waste you have once a week. It isn't smelly or messy when done properly - just make sure you empty your internal caddy into the external one daily - and wrap your peelings etc up in newspaper (which is biodegradable) first.

It's a simple step that can make such a difference. Please consider adding food waste to the recycling you already do.xoxox
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2 comments

  1. We used to have very small outside yard, but it was big enough for a wormery - our previous council didn't take vegetable and fruit left overs - it all went in the wormery. It was completely stress free, the worms produced worm juice. We gave worm juice to friends with allotments and veg patches. In return we got presents of fresh veg.
    Our new council is brilliant and takes all our food waste - much more than the worms liked.

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  2. Food waste has become a serious issue today as every year a number of people put thousands of tons of waste into landfills. Though, government standards have become strict on waste management, but still people are continuing to dump their wastes at public places and landfills. Instead of dumping food waste that won't biodegrade within a reasonable amount of time, it is essential to employ the habit of recycling.

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