Saturday, March 03, 2007

composting reflections...

I was fascinated by the new-to-me concept of anaerobic food digesters. The thought that our food waste could be turned into a "net energy producer" was exciting to me. As Royte noted, the EPA's assesment that New York alones annual output of more that 7 million tons of food/other organic waste would generate 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Wow! Not to mention the loss of 1.8 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions that no one would be fondly missing. Though private pickup of compostable food waste was found to be inefficient (though still beneficial) due to the intensive labor load added on waste management workers as well as fuel and environmental costs of incurred in all the "trucking," food waste from "large institutions and processesors" could be efficiently added into an anaerobic food digesting "plant." As Christiansen points out "larger-scale generators" make "collection/transportefficiencies...more significant."

On a more personal composting note I sympathized w/ Royte's personal composting journey a great deal. The comment she made in regards to creating big industrialized anaerobic food digesting plants she says, "The first scenario is about a cycle, the second one is about getting rid of garbage." She relates this to a thought about citizens biking carrot peels to get potting soil in return vs a big insustrial process. This resonated w/ me in that thinking about our planet and realizing how we affect it starts w/ one person doing what they can to make a difference, no matter how small it might seem. A penny saved is a penny earned, and an object recycled contributes to a collective zero waste goal.

And although off topic I must take a moment to say, HURRAY ON THE ROYTE SPEAKING AT OUR BAG FEST!!! Very exciting stuff, thanks for all the hard work on making it happen Michelle!


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