In 22 weeks, January – May, The Linn County ISU Extension & Outreach office has diverted approximately 100 gallons of food waste from the landfill by collecting leftovers from lunches, coffee pot, meetings and nutrition program scraps . It is feeding our worm bin, Marissa’s worm bucket, my worm bin and an outdoor compost bin at home. To create compost, we need a balance of ‘green’ or nitrogen rich material (fruit & vegie peels & cores) and ‘brown’ or carbon based material (tea bags & coffee grounds). I also use shredded office paper and newspaper for the ‘brown’. I’m inviting my office mates to help me harvest the compost from the worm bin the end of June. We will pick a nice day and do it out on the picnic table.
By composting food waste, we are reducing methane and other harmful chemicals from polluting the air and water here in Linn County. Scott Koepke, New Pioneer Coop SoilMates, says nearly 75% of everything that goes to the landfill COULD BE COMPOSTED. Consider this as you make decisions about the waste your household produces. By diverting it we will save money for our family, our municipality and keep our soil, water and air clean.
One tip for composting food waste: Remember to wash your bananas before eating and leaving the peels in the collection bucket. They usually have fruit fly eggs on them and washing will prevent them from hatching in your compost.
How much fruit or vegie scraps does your household discard? Could you start composting at home or the office? Do you know if one of your neighbors does this? Tell us about it on the blog or our Eco Family Facebook page!