Food Waste & Yard Waste Composting
Compost is a great addition to gardens, pots with plants and lawns.
Americans waste a lot of food. According to the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, researchers from Penn State determined that " . . . even the least-wasteful households wasted 8.7% of their food, while more than two-thirds of households wasted between 20% and 50%.” They estimate that households with the average level of food waste could be losing about $1,866 per year.
Wasted food not only costs families' money, but also costs taxpayers' money. The City of Laconia pays $87 per ton to dispose of this material. If 5000 families were able to reduce food waste by 25 pounds per year, the City would save over $5,400 per year.
How can you save money?
Minimize food waste as much as possible. To dispose of food that has gone bad, you can reduce the City’s costs as well as generate nutrients to help your plants and yard by composting. Food waste can even be composted in the wintertime inside your home without causing an odor. The “trick” is using red worms, some dirt, shredded paper and two bins. You can create great compost as well as produce worms for the fisherman (and woman) in the family.
Information on how to compost indoors is available at the Environmental Protection Agency website.
Yard waste in New Hampshire cannot be sent to a landfill or incinerator. The City of Laconia takes leaves and garden waste to another municipality, who converts it into compost for its residents. However, composting is easy, and you can compost those same materials right in your own backyard. This will save the City the costs associated with labor and transportation. Furthermore, it's a great way to help nourish your plants and lawn.
Detailed instructions on how to compost yard waste can be found at the US Department of Agriculture’s website and at the NH Department of Environmental Services' website. Another excellent online resource on composting is hosted by the Northeast Waste Management Officials Association.