Composting all organic waste—including food scraps and yard trimmings—could eliminate nearly one-third of all materials sent to landfills and trash incinerators across the United States. That’s according to “Composting in America,” a new report released today by U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research and Policy Center and Frontier Group. The report outlines best practices for composting programs, which are critical for mitigating the negative impact of waste on the climate and public health.
Each year, America landfills and incinerates enough organic material to fill a line of 18-wheelers stretching from New York to Los Angeles 10 times over, according to the report. All of that trashed material could instead be turned into valuable compost, which helps pull carbon out of the atmosphere, return nutrients to soil and replace toxic chemical fertilizers.
“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure—especially when that trash can be turned into compost,” said Faye Park, president of U.S. PIRG Education Fund, in a statement. “We constantly say to reduce, reuse and recycle. By reusing food waste and yard waste, we reduce our garbage and the negative impact it has on the earth and our health.”