Food Waste

The average US household wastes about $2000/year on discarded food.1FoodScraps

More than 17% of the material we throw away on the South Shore is food.2  

Much of this waste can be avoided:

  • plan shopping trips and parties with less food waste at Save the Food 
  • 'sell by', 'best by' and 'freshest if used by' dates are arbitrary, have no bearing on food safety, and result in unnecessary waste.  Trust your eyes and nose.  See USDA Food Product Dating 

  • organizations can take the EPA/USDA Food Recovery Challenge 

Curbside food waste collection service is provided by the following companies: 

Bootstrap Compost in Boston. $8/week, or $10/biweekly pickup. At least 10 households in a town need to sign up for service to be provided. No meat or dairy products.

Positive Effects LLCin Plymouth, 774-454-9274. Food, cardboard and other recycling services. Much of the food grown from the resulting compost will be donated to local food pantries and shelters.

Both companies provide a clean leak-proof, easy to use 5 gallon bucket each week, bring your leftovers to a local farm for composting, and bring customers finished compost.  

Backyard composting can put about half a ton/year of food and other organic waste to good use.  It sequesters carbon and transforms your leftover plant-based foods, paper towels, leaves and yard waste into nutritious soil. Your trash will be sweeter smeling, and you will have your own rich fertilizer for your lawn, garden and houseplants. 

For information on obtaining and using a low cost, rodent-free compost bin, click here.   

You can also build your own enclosure, or purchase one from a home and garden supply store.

Composting 101-Making compost in bins and piles, 4 min. video, Grow Organic, 4/7/2011

 

NRDC report "Wasted:  How America is losing up to 40% of its food"  page 12

2 COVANTA ENERGY SEMASS WASTE CHARACTERIZATION STUDY IN SUPPORT OF CLASS II RECYCLING PROGRAM, 2/2014, figure 3-2