Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A few good articles

The problem with food in the landfill, landfill decomposition and recycling myths busted:

A truck delivers a load of food waste to a compost facility.
Are you a train-of-thoughter, like me? My trains seem to be long and varied. I've been working on a presentation on outreach through social media for the Washington Organics Recycling Council. This lead me to do a search for "compost" on Twitter to try to illustrate some of the opportunities for talking about compost. One of my long time Twitter friends, @CleanBinProject was asking if anyone had a good answer to why we should be composting instead of throwing food waste in the landfills. (Seems many people still have the erroneous assumption that food breaks down in the landfill into something useful, similar to food in a compost pile.) I've also been wishing for a few good articles that talk about this. Luckily, I finally found some this time around. So, I'm going to post the articles and then get back to work.

Compost piles release heat-a byproduct of decomposition.
This article talks about food waste. Why we waste, the shocking amounts that we waste and the hidden costs of that waste. I have a beef with the lack of citing sources, but I feel most of it is accurate.

This one talks about landfills and why things don't really break down.  I have a feeling I'll be referencing this article a lot in the future, since "biodegradable" labels seem to be very misleading and confusing for the general consumer. We get asked about this at least once a month. My only beef with this article is the byline that says "most landfills too tightly packed to work well." I'm assuming they mean the decomposition doesn't work well, which is true, for all the reasons mentioned in the article. However, the landfill itself works very well. Landfills are a safe way to dispose of all the waste we're currently creating. Are they a "solution"? Perhaps not. But, to the best of my knowledge, they're the best thing we've got at this point in time. Until we curb our throw-away lifestyles and start reducing, reusing and recycling the majority of our wastes, landfills are one of the safest ways to deal with it.

Finally, here's a bonus recycling-myths-busted article. I've been long looking for one of these, as well. This is well-written and has citations, which I appreciate.

If you're looking for a little levity, here's a cartoon from one of my favorite people illustrating how I sometimes feel about my crazy trains of thought that take me all over the internet.
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