Letter to the editor: Mandatory composting would help the environment and landfill | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Mandatory composting would help the environment and landfill

Nikki Johnson

Have you ever thought about what happens to the food you throw in the trash? A simple way to eliminate food waste in our landfills is to compost it all. Composting is quickly becoming popular in the mainstream world, but what if our local government made a law where all food waste must be composted?

Each year 35.3 million tons of food end up in our landfills, says the Environmental Protection Agency. When food waste ends up in our landfills, a harmful greenhouse gas called methane is created which escapes into our atmosphere, further contributing to our warming atmosphere and climate change. 

Unlike recycling plastics, which many are convinced is a scam, composting food waste is a relatively easy way to help reverse climate change and give back what we take from the earth. The benefits of composting go far beyond our backyards. We can use this organic matter for a multitude of things that require soil, such as cemeteries, golf courses, parks and lawns.

By requiring households and businesses to compost, our natural spaces would thrive and our landfills would not overflow. Currently, almost 200 cities across the nation require households and businesses to compost. Seattle, Washington, and San Francisco have greatly benefited from making composting a law. 

Summit County has recently considered requiring a pay-as-you-throw program. The aim is to incentivize recycling and, hopefully, composting as well. By keeping food waste out of your trash bins there would be less trash to throw away. When I visited SCRAPS last year on a school field trip we were told our landfill could reach max capacity by 2052. Composting can help extend the life of our landfill and preserve our environment. Let’s not take up more of our natural spaces, which are home to countless species, by having to build another landfill.

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