The Power of a Banana Peel

If you easily could decrease the amount of trash you create by almost 20% and dramatically reduce the amount of dangerous greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, would you do it?

The second segment of the Boston TV news program that focused on trash looks at how the growing trend of food scrap diversion holds the potential to, as WasteZero’s Stephen Lisauskas puts it, “supercharge recycling.” That show, Chronicle, reports that food scraps make up fully 19% of the solid waste stream. Diverting those banana peels and apple cores from the trash can to a compost pile can not only cut trash tonnage significantly, but also reduce the amount of methane–a potent greenhouse gas–in the environment.

Photo Courtesy of Chronicle

The segment profiles the effort in the town of Newburyport, Mass., to bring food scrap collection to scale–from something that may take place on a household-by-household basis to a more powerful town-wide system. With funding from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, a two-year pilot program is collecting household organic¬†materials curbside and sending them to a local processing facility to become compost.

Photo Courtesy of Chronicle

Photo Courtesy of Chronicle

One participant in the pilot tells Chronicle that her four-person family’s trash output has decreased by “half, if not more” since they began taking part. That’s a pretty big benefit of a system that only asks people to put their peels and cores in a different bin.

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