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Consider making much less meals and composting leftovers this Thanksgiving, specialists say


A prep cook dinner at MoMo’s restaurant in San Francisco drops apple skins right into a food-scrap recycling container in 2009. Composting, a course of that converts natural supplies into nutrient-rich soil, will help scale back the quantity of trash dumped into landfills.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Environmentalists urge folks to assume twice about how a lot meals they make and methods to cope with leftovers this Thanksgiving.

New York City, reportedly the world’s most wasteful city, final yr produced 5 p.c extra trash the week after Thanksgiving than throughout a typical week, in line with the city’s Department of Sanitation.

By composting leftovers, a process that converts natural supplies into nutrient-rich soil, folks will help scale back the quantity of trash being dumped into landfills, environmentalists say.

“Over 70 billion pounds of food waste reaches our landfills every year, contributing to methane emissions and wasting energy and resources across the food supply chain,” mentioned Andrew Wheeler, then the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, in a statement the day earlier than Thanksgiving in 2020. “This holiday season, we must all do our part to help people and the environment by preparing only what we need, cutting down our food waste, and sharing or donating what we can to feed others.”

Some U.S. cities have arrange curbside composting that enables residents to depart meals waste in labeled bins for pickup. Those who don’t reside in neighborhoods with this service can deliver meals scraps to a compost drop-off location or group backyard.

New York City’s Department of Sanitation is conducting a pilot program of “smart bin” composting

for straightforward food-scrap drop-offs. People can open these bins, scattered all through Lower Manhattan, by way of an app and drop off natural waste, which can then be taken to native and regional composting amenities.

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Experts additionally advise Americans to freeze additional meals to eat later, donate extra nonperishable meals to native charities and take into account making much less meals.

Food composting has elevated barely over the previous decade however has not grow to be a prevalent strategy to handle meals waste. From 2010 to 2018, the U.S. noticed a 23 percent increase within the quantity of municipal stable waste composted. But only 4.1 percent of wasted meals and different natural stable waste was composted in 2018.

Food contributes extra to landfills than some other materials, making up 24 p.c of metropolis stable waste. Landfills are the nation’s largest source of methane, a greenhouse gasoline that contributes to international warming and will get emitted when natural waste akin to meals decomposes.

“Preventing food from going to waste is one of the easiest and most powerful actions you can take to save money and lower your climate change footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources,” EPA spokesperson Robert Daguillard mentioned.

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