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[GreenYes] Food scraps



Kendall -

I enjoyed your recent thoughtful post about biosolids. And I really
appreciated that you disclosed your relationship with a particular
system vendor. I'm just curious if you have any data to support the
statement that "most food waste is actually diverted from the solid
waste management system...". I've never seen any studies on this. Has
InSinkErator studied this? Did you mean in New York?

Most waste characterizations studies I've seen [including a very
comprehensive study done by Cascadia Consulting for the California
Integrated Waste Management Board
(http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/publications/default.asp?pubid=1097)] indicate
that food is a significant component of the (solid) waste stream. To be
fair, typical waste characterization studies only include materials
that are already on their way to a landfill; I've never seen one that
takes the wastewater flows and or solids into consideration. The
Cascadia Study indicated that food was the number one item by weight
still in the waste stream in California. Many CA jurisdictions are
currently planning food collection programs to divert this material
from landfill disposal.

Clearly way too much food is being wasted in the US. Anthropologist Tim
Jones at the University of Arizona has estimated that from field to
table a full 50 percent of food is wasted. More and more cities across
the country are looking at ways to divert food scraps from the waste
stream. And not just in CA or in big cities, Dubuque, Iowa, Hutchinson,
Minnesota, and Plano, Texas are a just a few examples of lessor known
cities diverting food scraps. One successful method in some areas is to
combine residential food scraps with curbside collected yard trimmings.
Although these programs are in relative infancy, they appear to be
growing in number.

At least here in CA, whether a residence or a business has an
under-sink disposer or not there is still a significant amount of food
scraps that currently end up in landfills and would be better off
diverted to a beneficial re-use.

Matthew Cotton
Integrated Waste Management Consulting, LLC
19375 Lake City Road
Nevada City, CA 95959
(530) 265-4560
Fax (530) 265-4547
mattcotton@no.address

On Jul 9, 2006, at 6:12 AM, Kendall Christiansen wrote:
>
> The subtle point is this: in U.S. cities/municipalities, most food
> waste is
> actually diverted from the solid waste management system via the use
> of food
> waste disposers (given that it's 70% water, it's more liquid than
> solid)
> which use the sewer system to transport organic waste (human + food) to
> wastewater treatment plants for processing....with the premise that the
> additional food waste actually improves the quality of biosolids.
> Thanks for considering...
>
> Kendall Christiansen
> Gaia Strategies
> kendall@no.address
> 718.941.9535
>
> The writer has seventeen years experience in solid waste management and
> recycling systems in NYC -- including chairing NYC's Citywide Recycling
> Advisory Board for 5+ years -- and serves as senior consultant on
> environmental affairs to InSinkErator, the leading manufacturer of food
> waste disposers. (www.insinkerator.com)
>
>
> >


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