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Organic Waste


  1. Food scraps were 12.7% of waste generated 2008, while yard trimmings were 13.2%
    Only 2.5% of all waste food was composted in 2008 – the rest went to landfill or incinerators.

  2. 30,990 tons of food scraps were discarded in 2008, composing 18.6% of all materials going to landfills or incinerators. 13

  3. American per capita food waste increased to more than 1,400 calories per person per day in 2009, an increase of approximately 50 percent since 1974. 20

  4. Because microbes in compost can degrade some toxic organic compounds, including petroleum, compost is often used to restore oil-contaminated soils. 21

  5. Compost’s organic matter and microbial content make it similar to wetland soils, and thereby useful for wetland restoration. 22

  6. Immature composts, which work against plant growth, are used as natural mulches and mild herbicides. 22

  7. In 2009, the EPA concluded that as much as 42 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions could be avoided through strategies like recycling and composting. 22

  8. Because incinerators are inefficient at generating electricity from burning waste, and recycling and composting conserve three to five times more energy than is produced by incinerating waste, the amount of energy wasted in the U.S. by not recycling is equal to the output of 15 medium-sized power plants. 23

  9. Doubling the national recycling rate could create over 1 million new green jobs. 23

  10. The United States has more communities working towards Zero Waste goals than all of Europe. 23

Generating food waste has significant economic as well as environmental consequences. Whether you’re an individual, family, or business, chances are a considerable portion of your budget goes towards buying food — either for you, your family, or your customers. And since we now throw away more food than anything else, that means we are throwing away a lot of our money. Often, simple changes in food purchasing, storage and preparation practices can yield significant reductions in food waste generation. Not only will this reduce waste, but it will make your food dollars go further. Food waste cost savings have even greater potential at commercial establishments. Saving food means saving money."



Did You Know That Compost Can...

  • Suppress plant diseases and pests.
  • Reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Promote higher yields of agricultural crops.
  • Facilitate reforestation, wetlands restoration, and habitat revitalization efforts by amending contaminated, compacted, and marginal soils.
  • Cost-effectively remediate soils contaminated by hazardous waste.
  • Remove solids, oil, grease, and heavy metals from storm water runoff.
  • Capture and destroy 99.6 percent of industrial volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in contaminated air.
  • Provide cost savings of at least 50 percent over conventional soil, water, and air pollution remediation technologies, where applicable.






Recycling For Charities

Recycling saves 95 percent of the energy required to make aluminum from ore.
If the recycling rate were to reach 80% at the current level of beverage container sales, nearly 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided. This is equivalent to taking nearly 2.4 million cars off the road for a full year.

U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report
In 1972, 53 million pounds of aluminum were recycled. Today, we exceed that amount weekly.
Copyright © 2001 Recycling For Charities. All rights reserved. Revised: 10/08/11