Turn Your Food Waste into Compost.
There are many things we all attempt to do that benefit the earth— eat less meat; plant more trees; walk, bike or take Marta—but one of the easiest things that can make a tremendous difference is recycling our food waste. When we toss food waste—avocado skins, banana peels, egg shells— in with our regular garbage, it ends up in a landfill where it lacks the necessary oxygen to create compost and instead produces methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas that traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere.
However, when collected separately, banana peels and other food waste can be transformed into compost, a natural substance treasured like gold by farmers and gardeners everywhere for its unmatched ability to enrich the soil and replenish micronutrients.
Rebecca Weizenecker, cofounder of a local startup, Cyrcle Compost, says she is on a mission to make recycling food waste as easy as possible for area residents and restaurants. For a low monthly fee, Cyrcle Compost will come to your home or business, collect the food waste that you accumulate in a special odorless, compostable bag or bin they provide, and deliver it to a local farm or facility that will convert it to nutrient-rich compost. “We want to make it extremely easy for people to choose to recycle their food waste, keep it out of landfills and subsequently convert it into a much-needed resource,” says Weizenecker, a Georgia Tech graduate and Midtown resident. “Unlike most commercial fertilizers that feed plants a few primary nutrients, compost feeds the soil, restoring essential microbes and micronutrients often depleted by traditional agribusiness practices.”
Not only is recycling food waste the best choice for the environment and for progressive cities like Decatur aspiring for zero waste, it can also be the best financial choice for restaurants and other food-service industries. “It is a money-saving option, especially for farm-to-table restaurants that use a lot of fresh produce. They will pay far less for us to collect their food waste than for their current sanitation company to collect their mixed trash that includes the food waste. It makes sense for the planet and for their bottom line,” explains Weizenecker.
In fact, recycling food waste is a practice where all the stakeholders benefit. Weizenecker says local farmers are eager to take the food waste and are grateful for it. “When I started the company, I was surprised to learn that farms are not only willing to take the food scraps, but that they rely on these food scraps to sustain their farm. Compost and good soil are everything to them, and being able to facilitate that need is a big win for everyone—the farmers and the consumers who enjoy eating locally raised fruits and vegetables.”
by Lorrie Bryan