Tag Archives: StopWaste Data

Troubling trend in recycling residential food waste


Residents in Alameda County, California, apparently hit a wall last year in separating kitchen food scraps from their garbage cans, seriously slowing a trend that became standard with curbside pickup across the county in 2008.

What many residents may not know, recycling advocates say, is that the messy task of putting food scraps into a different container and putting it in the green bin helps slow climate change. When people put food in trash cans, it goes to a landfill, where it turns into methane gas, is released into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming.

The data compiled by StopWaste, shows 2014 was a bad year for recycling food scraps compared with 2013 and 47 percent of houses surveyed did not put out their green carts on pickup day, indicating that fewer homes are participating in food scrap and organics recycling,” StopWaste spokesman Jeff Becerra said.

There are several theories for the troubling decline of the county’s food scrap recycling program:

People could simply be tired of doing it because it’s too messy, they have forgotten the environmental reasons it’s important, or could be suffering from food waste fatigue… ‘I’ve been doing this for a year, it smells, and I’m tired of it.’

Once a popular program is now wilting and for those working against climate change have reason to be alarmed.