Caption: A compost tumbler is an easy way to remove food waste from your trash and our landfill and make fertilizer for your plants and trees.
There’s probably a hidden nook in your yard that might help less food waste head to our landfill. That spot could be the perfect location to start composting organic material left over from your kitchen.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), landfills produce the third largest amount of methane emissions in the United States, after petroleum production, and animal gas and manure – a recorded 14.1 percent in 2017. Methane’s presence in the atmosphere affects Earth's temperature and climate, and per the EPA, food is the single largest category of material placed in municipal landfills.
Locally, South Central Solid Waste Authority (SCSWA) has been harnessing the methane produced at the Corralitos Landfill through pipes running throughout the landfill which has been processed into energy to power the attendant operational house. However, SCSWA encourages residents to consider removing food waste before it hits the landfill by composting.
“There is always waste with food prep – apple cores, corn husks that aren’t good for tamales, or even the unappetizing peels. It could be something that’s already gone bad or things you wouldn’t consider boiling into a vegetable broth,” said Brandi Misquez, SCSWA recycle education coordinator.
“There are several ways to compost, and it’s easy to maintain once it’s been set up and you’ve established the habit,” she explained. “If you have the space, a compost heap can be in an open bin, a pile, a closed bin, or a compost tumbler. In time, the food waste will break down into fertilizer for your plants or trees.”
“If you’re willing to have a few more pets, worm compost, aka vermicomposting, is a unique and educational way to compost, especially for curious kids,” said Misquez.
South Central Solid Waste Authority manages solid waste and recyclables for residents and businesses throughout Doña Ana County. Contact SCSWA at (575) 528-3800 or visit www.SCSWA.net.
By: Cassie McClure