How long have you been separating your food scraps from the trash?
I started last year. Growing up my family had a home compost pile for the family garden.
Why did you start separating food scraps? If you live with other people, do they help?
Putting food scraps in the trash makes me so sad. It made me feel extremely guilty twice over for both the waste of food and impact on the environment. Taking the step to compost feels like a productive choice towards reducing waste and my impact. I used to live with roommates that weren’t really understanding why we should take this extra step however my current roommates are 100% behind composting now and help pay for the curbside pickup.
Have you made any changes to your eating or cooking habits since separating your food scraps ?
I noticed at the beginning of starting the compost pickup that I had certain vegetables that I always bought but would almost always go bad and end up in the compost bucket. I started to change what I buy so I don’t waste my money or food.
What's your system for collecting food scraps?
I use a curbside pick-up service based in the Chittenden county area. The composting company is approachable, has cost effective options for everyone, and direct payment so I have one less thing to remember every month. They provided me with a 5-gallon bucket with a lid that I fill up with food and have picked up from my curb on a bi-weekly basis. I usually keep the bucket in the kitchen and haven’t had an issue with smell. After pick up, I wash the bucket out before adding the next round of food waste.
Do you separate your food scraps through the winter? I use the same curbside service through winter.
Have you had any problems? I had some issues with a roommate in the past but have moved from that house and now have no issue.
What do you like about diverting your food scraps?
I know that by separating food scraps I am reducing my footprint on the environment. It has also cut down on the amount of trash. I never realized how much of my trash was made up of food and how smelly it made the trash. Now my trash is cut in half, doesn’t need to be taken out as often, and has cut down on smell.
How would you encourage someone who is hesitant to start separating their food scraps from the trash?
I’d say that it can be very easy and cost effective. Just like you place recycling in a different bin you can place food scraps into a compost bucket. And when you look into the impact of food scraps on landfills you will feel less guilty every time you put peelings in the bucket or throw that forgotten, rotten cucumber into the compost. Once you start you may notice some real behavior changes and know that you are taking steps towards reducing your environmental footprint.