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With Curbside Composting, Food Waste Not A Total Loss

With Curbside Composting, Food Waste Not A Total Loss

Wasting around 40 percent of all the food produced in the U.S. certainly has its drawbacks: It's not feeding people in need, it's expensive and it does a lot of environmental damage.

But across the country, cities, towns and companies are finding food waste doesn't have to be a total loss. In fact, it can be quite valuable – in making fertilizer, electricity or even fuel for cars, trucks and buses.

More than 180 U.S. cities and towns are trying to tap that value by offering curbside food scrap collection. They're asking residents to separate unwanted food from the rest of their trash and put it in a curbside compost bin. The idea is to stop sending food waste to the landfill where it generates harmful methane gas pollution and start turning it into something useful – like compost that people can use to enrich the soil.

However, while these curbside compost programs are better than landfilling, experts say they only address a fraction of the food waste problem.

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