Vegetable leftovers, banana peels, and every other food wastes will not be allowed in the trash bins of residents living in California beginning in January 2022. The new implementation is part of the food recycling program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from trash bins and landfills.
In respect to the recycling rule, some cities are ahead of the curve as Davis in California, home to over 65,000 people, has launched its food recycling program as early as 2016 and is witnessing tremendous results.
A resident in Davis, Joy Klinberg in an interview with Yahoo news explained that she was happy to make a global impact with just a minor change in the way waste is being disposed of.
The food recycling process
“They’ll dump the wastes in a section where it goes through processing and any large contamination gets removed before all the wastes are grounded up together”, Ramin Yazdani, director at Yolo county integrated waste management.
He Noted that the resulting material gets used for agricultural uses and is sent out to areas that help residents get compost wastes for their residential use.
Ned Spang, an expert in food loss & waste collaborative in UC Davis spoke in an interview that a Senate Bill in 1383 was passed in 2016 to reduce methane emissions and other short-lived climate pollutants. “Methane is released when we put organic waste into landfills as a lot of the landfilled organic wastes are food wastes”, Ned added.
It takes a little time, training, and education for people to adopt new food recycling habits. He suggested this implementation is good for people to understand the cycle and story of food and humans are tasked with the responsibility of closing the loop.
“Food comes from the land and we really should be returning it to the land” Ned finalized in the interview.
Recycling programs sound great but does it always work well in reality? Is it necessary to mandate programs or is it possible to have a market oriented solution? Accountability is critical when the government is investing in programs and mandating specific activities. Transparency and accountability is critical and makes it to where programs that are associated and initiated by the government turn out to be successful and provides a positive net gain to American society.