A solution for food waste and the proper management of it has been under a great big microscope for all kinds of environmental and social reasons lately. Diversion of food waste from landfills is a top priority for many cities and states, but what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate to a practical solution.
Simply adding food waste to a compost facility that already processes yard waste sounded like a brilliant idea to Highland Park’s city officials. However, understanding how the composting process works before leaping would have possibly turned this failure into a success.
A healthy compost program needs a variety of ingredients that contain carbon and nitrogen. Meaning you should have equal amounts of yard debris and food scraps in order to manage this task correctly.
Highland Park Illinois joins a long list of failed attempts country-wide. It seems they had a poor understanding of the composting process and are now trying to re-launch the idea for an eight-month period, April through November. The issue is that in the winter months there is no yard waste pickup so this particular site couldn’t accept the food waste during those months. Since the food waste cannot sit around for obvious reasons, the program would only be able to run for the eight month period.
Compost programs often fail because without yard waste you can’t process food waste alone. It sounds like Illinois found out the hard way.