The results of a 7-month survey have been compiled and released in a recent report regarding the "State of Organics Recycling in the U. S.".
BioCycle, a magazine and website published since 1960 and specializing in composting, organics recycling, anaerobic digestion, and renewable energy, requested information from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Forty-three states and D. C. completed the survey about the number and type of organics processing facilities each has.
It has been found that there are over 4,700 composting sites nationwide. While most process yard debris (57%), such as grass clippings and tree trimmings, much fewer process food wastes.
Did you know that between 30-40% of food in America is wasted while 1 in 8 Americans struggle to get enough to eat? Also, it is estimated that 25-40 percent of the food that is grown, processed, and transported in the United States will never be consumed.[i]
With fewer food composting facilities in the US and the immense amount of food wastes in the U. S., one can bet that landfills are the final resting place of up to 60% of unconsumed foods in America.
Clearly, the opportunity exists to completely eradicate hunger in our country, which would lessen the need for more composting facilities. National groups, like Feeding America, partner with restaurants, grocers, wholesale warehouse businesses, and more to divert foods to feed hungry people in our community. And, foods that are no longer consumable by humans, but still safe for livestock can be diverted to farms and ranches. There are even industrial uses, such as yellow grease collection that is refined and used as fuel in biodiesel vehicles.
Survey snapshot of what's being recycled and the states that are stepping up: