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Re: [greenyes] Looking for Research and Info on Quantity and Type of Food Loss / Food Scrap Discards

1. In Metro's 2001 Residential Composting Study, a telephone survey of
606 households in single family through 4-unit dwellings found 40% used
a garbage disposal unit at least 1x a day, 42% did not have a disposal
unit or never used the one they had, 18% used their disposal unit
infrequently. In a second question, households were asked what they did
with their food scraps? 41% put them in part or entirely down the
garbage disposal or drain. Households were allowed to select multiple
management options. The other popular ones were disposal in garbage
(71%), compost (23%) and feed to animals (18%. 2. An interesting study
was published in Waste Management&Research, 2003:21:"501-514 by Carol
Diggelman and Robert Ham, Un. of Wisconsin on "Household Food Waste to
wastewater or to solid waste? That is the question." Of course, that is
not the question but rather what are the options,impacts, including
benefits that are associated with reduction, reuse, on-site composting
and ultimately curbside collection for centralized composting. The
Diggelman & Ham study does include a composting option, but it models
separate collection of food scraps rather than the scenario that almost
every city adopts, which is collection of food commingled with yard
debris. The compost option in the study scores lowest in terms of all
impacts except energy and air emissions. Co-collection with yard debris
would change the conclusion to lowest in all areas. Finally, there is
no analysis of the benefits of the finished product. In a sewage
treatment plant you combine the food with toxicants (e.g. heavy metals)
to make a sludge that can be land applied in limited amounts under
controlled conditions. As a compost, the benefits are many and demand
is high. 3. Rick Anthony has addressed this issue in an email to me
several years ago.. Taking food waste out of the sewer can dramatically
increase the capacity of the treatment plant. Mixing food waste,
vegetative debris and food dirty paper, and collecting it for compost
production will net a significant diversion in both the landfill and the
sewer treatment plant, create new jobs and provide needed humus for the
planet. Now that's dancing with the angels. Check out my website and
the publication from Biocycle regarding the impact of food waste
diversion programs on restaurants and food stores, bod and ss loadings.
Richard V. AnthonyRichard Anthony Associates858 272 4. Four years ago, the New York
City Council reversed anearly 40-year ban on in-house garbage grinders,
after tests by the local DEP showed the system could handle the
increased organic load. According to a Plant Engineer, the increased
organic content would actually improve the operation of the system, as
there would be more food for the little bugs to eat! 5. For background
on sewage and sewage treatment, seeEXCREMENT HAPPENS -- PART 1 and Part
2RACHEL'S ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH WEEKLY #644 .April 1999 start your own free
subscription, send E-mail to .listserv@no.address with the words

Steve Apotheker
Senior Recycling Analyst
Waste Reduction, Planning & Outreach
600 NE Grand Avenue
Portland, OR 97232-2736
(503) 797-1698
(503) 797-1795 fax

Metro is a regional government serving three counties
and 24 cities in the Portland, Oregon region.

>>> Stephan Pollard <sp@no.address> 10/25/04 12:58:44 PM >>>


In the US what's put down the in-sink disposals or in garbage
where they exist (and where they don't) and how much given both a
diversion opportunity and the absence of one?

Any citable research / information would likely be helpful, more so if

it concerned multi-family dwellings.

Thanks in advance.


Stephan Pollard
Environmental Dynamics Doctoral Program
University of Arkansas
Rm 113 Ozark Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
Tel: (479) 575-6603

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