We know, you are feeling pretty darn good about your recycling etiquette – you take your plastic bags to Bashas’ to be recycled, you’ve got your cans, cardboard, paper and hard plastic sitting on the curb waiting for pickup and your hazardous waste is taken to your local e-waste recycler. With all that diversion taking place, what could possibly be ending up in your trash can? Its food, lots of nutritious food that could be getting a new life once you are done with it. Let’s take a step back and think about how that food ended up in the garbage. Maybe you made too much food for dinner and the leftovers got dumped in the can. Those strawberries you couldn’t resist at the grocery store? Well they ended up at the back of the fridge and now they look more like gray marshmallows that you wouldn’t eat on a dare. Same thing goes with the half of a Cobb salad you took home from your lunch outing with your BFF – it’s been chilling in the fridge waiting for the chance to cruise through your digestive system to no avail.
Guys, it doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of junking your food waste and letting it rot in a landfill where it’s shooting methane gas into the atmosphere, you should be placing it in a clean, sanitized bin with a paper-bag liner and air-tight lid which will get picked up every week or two and given a new life. There’s a local business that does just that; Recycled City offers this excellent service for people living in homes, apartments and condos across metro Phoenix. They give you a bin, you fill it with your food scraps (basically any food item, including meat, bones, shells, pasta, bread, pastries and vegetables), then place it outside your door on your designated day to picked up. It then heads to Recycled City’s composting facility at the Orchard Learning Center in Phoenix where it is transformed into soil that (get this) grows new food. That’s a full circle system, friends.
Maybe you think composting is confusing or smelly? We’re here to tell you it’s not. The Recycled City team are pros and provide you with step-by-step instructions and all the tools you need. They also offer a fourteen day free trial so you can give the system a test run. Plus they give you this magical stuff called bokashi that you sprinkle on top of your food waste to prevent odors. We’re pretty sure you aren’t sprinkling anything on the trash sitting in your kitchen, so we’d like to make that case that composting is actually less smelly then what you currently have going on.
If helping reduce climate change isn’t enough of an incentive for you to start composting, Recycled City offers Farm Box, a CSA (community supported agriculture) program where you pay a subscription fee that goes to the farmer and in exchange you get a box full of seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs. The Farm Box is delivered to your door on the same day that your food scraps are picked up, making it easy to get your veggies and support Arizona’s food system. If you are a fan of growing your own food, you can also opt for having the finished compost returned to you. For every 70 pounds of food scraps you send to Recycled City, you can earn one cubic foot of soil that is delivered to your door-step three times per year, at the beginning of the three growing seasons in Phoenix.
On a serious note, food waste is a huge problem in this country. Over 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is wasted and ends up in the landfill. If you think about the time and resources it takes to grow food, process it and transport it you can quickly surmise that there is need for all of us to be more responsible with our food scraps. Reducing the amount you buy and disposing of what you don’t eat in a thoughtful manner will help preserve the land for future generations. Find more information on the food waste dilemma at www.savethefood.com.