Last month, the Government of Canada invested $11.4 million CAD in composting projects. Just a year ago, the U.S. House of Representatives considered the Federal COMPOST Act, a bill that pledged to provide $2 billion USD over 10 years to fund a national composting effort. More and more, we’re seeing organizations around the world making large investments in composting and other food waste solutions.
Today, we’ll take a look at why so many governments and private businesses are starting to pay attention to food waste. Why is composting worth millions?
The Problem: Food Waste & Climate Change
The US alone discards nearly 80 billion pounds of food every single year, and much of it simply ends up in landfills. In fact, food is the item that takes up the most room in US landfills, making up 22 percent of all solid waste. So why is this a problem?
Food waste is not only a humanitarian concern when it comes to people going hungry, but it’s also an environmental one. When food ends up in landfills and rots, it produces methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas. Food waste is a major contributor to climate change, with around 6-8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions resulting from food waste.
Managing food waste is also extremely costly and logistically challenging. Large organizations spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on disposal services like waste collection and transportation of waste. Considering the fact that around 40% of all US food waste comes from consumer-facing businesses, it’s vital that businesses begin finding cost-effective, environmentally-friendly ways to deal with their food waste.
The Solution: Food Waste Management with Aerobic Digestion
In response to these issues, many organizations and government agencies are investing time and resources into projects that deal with food waste in an environmentally responsible manner, specifically composting and aerobic digestion.
The Benefits of Aerobic Digestion
Aerobic digestion is a process in which micro-organisms break down food waste in the presence of oxygen (in other words, they digest food waste). This process not only helps prevent unnecessary landfill usage, but also reduces methane emissions from rotting food – helping to combat climate change on a large scale.
While aerobic digestion happens fairly quickly in nature, the breakdown of organic waste can be accelerated further in order to make it a more effective large-scale food waste management solution. Aerobic digesters are machines that accelerate this natural composting process and can digest food waste quickly without environmental impacts. This is a great solution for businesses and other organizations who want to deal with their food waste quickly and easily, without emitting more carbon or spending a fortune on waste collection and management. In fact, a Syker Systems aerobic digester can digest up to 617 pounds of food waste in only 24 hours, and can be installed onsite, helping to deal with food waste in an eco-friendly manner.
Aerobic Digestion: The Next Big Thing
As climate change worsens, governments and businesses around the world are searching for cost-effective, simple solutions to reducing our carbon footprints. It’s no surprise that more and more organizations are investing heavily in aerobic digestion and other similar technologies.
For example, the Canadian government partnered with Redcliff Cypress Regional Waste Management Authority of Alberta, Canada, to fund a compost treatment facility to divert organic waste from landfills. It’s estimated that this project, funded by Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Fund, will avoid about 77,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of taking 23,600 cars off the road for a whole year! This project is just one part of Canada’s $11 million CAD investment in composting initiatives. Additionally, other governments around the world are increasingly including composting and aerobic digestion in their climate action plans and are taking similar steps to Canada to push for nation-wide initiatives to deal with food waste in an environmentally responsible manner.
It’s not just governments that are investing in composting solutions. Private businesses, from hospitals to restaurants to universities, can also take steps, such as installing an onsite aerobic digester machine, to lower their carbon footprint and deal with their food waste more effectively. As more major businesses open their eyes to the financial rewards of improving their food waste management, we can certainly expect to see more companies investing in food waste solutions – and reaping the benefits.
For more information about a Syker Systems aerobic digester please call 877-713-3363