Curbside Composting vs. Big Trash

San Francisco stands as the poster child for promoting composting. The city successfully planted the curbside composting seed 16 years ago, and today, recovers 600 tons of yard and food waste every day.

Throwing banana peels, egg shells, leaves, and limbs into heaps of compost preserves dwindling space in dumps and ultimately saves cities like San Francisco money. It also eliminates much of the methane produced by organic matter in dumps and cuts emissions by (potentially) millions of metric tons a year.

While 100 cities have curbside composting programs in place now, why haven’t business and environmental minds alike from cities around the nation caught on as well?

MotherJones.com reports that anti-compost culprit could be what it calls “Big Trash”: for-profit trash collection agencies like Waste Management, the largest garbage company in the United States.

While 24 states have laws in place currently banning yard waste from landfills which could lead to eventual composting programs like San Francisco’s, lobbying efforts by Big Trash often have a prominent role in overturning these yard waste bans. Florida and Georgia were two recent casualties of these lobbying efforts.

So how do we block Big Trash’s lobbying efforts? Perhaps making composting a regular DIY activity among individuals could benefit both our gardens and our fight against emissions, without the need for a commitment from those who govern us.

By: Jasmine Touton

Project Specialist

Campaign Consultation, Inc.

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A California-native, Jasmine Touton - who is also a Project Specialist at Campaign Consultation Inc. - spent much of her time growing up outdoors and under water. She's passionate about finding and lifting up innovative ways we can all work to preserve and protect the great outdoors for future generations. Read more.

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